How IBWSS London will help put bulk wine on the on-trade agenda

January may seem a long way away, but if you want to book your place and take advantage of early bird registrations at the inaugural International Bulk Wine & Spirits Show taking place in London then now is the time to do so. The two day event promises to not only highlight the latests trends in bulk wine but will feature leading figures in the trade taking part in both conference debates and seminars.

Keeping on top of bulk wine trends and opportunities is going to become increasingly more important for major UK on-trade buyers and suppliers.

Working in the wine and spirits industry means you are constantly worrying about both what is happening today and tomorrow, whilst at the same time keeping your eye on events and trends six months to a year down the line. 

Having such a short and long term perspective on the state of the drinks industry is none better demonstrated than what is happening in the world of bulk wine. On the one hand buyers are constantly tracking currency rates to see where they can get their next best deal for the most in demand grapes, whilst also looking to lock in deals and partnerships for a year to 18 months out.

Bulk wine, and spirits, as we know, is no longer just the preserve of the big supermarkets looking to fill containers full of Chilean Merlot or New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. The cost savings and efficiencies involved in working with bulk wine means it is now very much in demand in the on-trade too.

Sourcing and developing own label, and exclusive wines for pubs, bars and restaurants is very much now on the agenda of the country’s biggest wine distributors and importers. With a number of the major on-trade operators, pub and restaurant groups also seeing the advantages of controlling their own supply chain, and either going direct to secure wine to be shipped and bottled in market, or increasingly expecting their wine suppliers to do that job for them.

Perfect timing 

All of which is good news and timing for next January’s inaugural dedicated conference and exhibition on bulk wine, the International Bulk Wine & Spirits Show, which is coming to London and Europe for the first time.

The event, which is organised by the American drinks publishing, marketing and B2B networking platform, the Beverage Trade Network, promises to bring all sides of the bulk wine industry together. From the end buyers in the on-trade and distribution channels, through to the bottling, shipping, logistics providers, through to major producers and suppliers of bulk wine.

The event, which takes place at London’s Horticultural Halls on January 24-25, will be a combination of a conference, featuring a series of seminars, panel debates and TED-style talks and a trade exhibition.

Some of the keynote panellist and speakers lined up take part include:

  • Andrew Shaw, group wine buying director of Conviviality PLC who is in charge of managing the strategy of the UK’s most significant wine supplier covering both the on-and off-trades through its own businesses including Matthew Clark, Bibendum, PLB, Bargain Booze and Wine Rack. Across the group it is heavily involved in sourcing and shipping large volumes of bulk wine to be bottled in market in the UK.
  • Neil Anderson, marketing director of Kingsland Drinks, which as one of the pioneering bulk wine bottling facilities in the UK is very well placed to not only look at the trends within the global bulk wine sector, but also using its own data, analytics and consumer research plotting the kinds of bulk wine that needs to be sourced and shipped in the future.   
  •  Mark Lansley, chief executive of Broadland Wineries one of the UK’s most important and innovative bulk and contract wine bottling facilities. It has built up its business working most of the major supermarket, wholesaler and retailer groups in the UK as well as developing strong business in the US and Nordic states. As well as doing contract, third party work it is also a significant brand builder and wine supplier itself using bulk wine to source the most competitive juice for either its own wines or its partners. It has achieved on average 20% growth figures for the last 10 years and is on course to hit a £250m turnover by 2025.
  • Robin Copestick, managing director of Copestick Murray, that was was one of the first companies to work closely with major UK supermarket groups to help source and ship bulk wine from around the world. It has gone on to use bottled in market wines as the commercial backbone to its varietal-driven I Heart brand which is now exported to around 30 countries around the world.
  • David Richardson, regulatory and commercial affairs director at the Wine & Spirit Trade Association who will look at how the various steps all parties need to be aware of when shipping bulk wine and that bottlers, distributors and retailers are all aware of their own risks and responsibilities.

Sid Patel, chief executive of the Beverage Trade Network and organiser of IBWSS said: “It is time, we made private label and bulk trade a norm. London being the most important market for private label and bulk trade, we decided to make London our host city for Europe.”

He added: “The UK is one of the leading store-owned and private label markets, so it was a no-brainer that we provide the platform to connect these buyers to top class suppliers from all over the world who are ready to offer private label services and understand what it takes in being a private label supply partner and help the buyer build their brand.”

How to take part

There is an opportunity for anyone looking to be an exhibitor at the event to take advantage of early bird booking fees. Up to the end of May it is possible to make savings of 30% for any space taken with the added incentive of paying 25% now and then the full amount by the end of August.

As a visitor: IBWSS London is relevant for anyone involved in the making, sourcing, buying, shipping, bottling, selling and marketing of bulk wine and spirits. Designed specifically for key players across the multiple grocery, convenience, wholesaler, on-trade sectors as well as producers, wineries, distilleries and service providers across the private label and branded wine and spirit sectors. RSVP here to get your free visitor trade pass and special deals for conference ticket.

International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show(IBWSS) London Exhibitor Registrations Now Open. Register Now.

Sales reps: Tips for importers and distributors on how to retain them

Sales reps are often the only point of contact a retail customer, or on-trade operator will ever have with a wine importer and distributor. But how much care and attention are giving to their well-being?

You may have the best sourced and priced wines available and the most competitive and well thought through wine list in the country, but where would you be without the sales people to go out and sell them to your customers? Yet, the turnover of sales reps in an average wine business would suggest that more time and trouble needs to be taken to keep them as well cared for as the wines they are selling.

1. It’s all about the money, money money…

It might be obvious, but ultimately the whole purpose of being a sales person it to sell hit targets and bring in money for the business. Those who sell the most, receive more money. That’s the way the world goes round. But does it? How well are you paying your sales teams? Do you know how your payment terms compare to your competition? Do you benchmark your salaries and benefits against the competition? Do you only get round to paying an employee more once they threaten to leave? Don’t let it get to that stage. Pay them what they are worth.

2. Handcuffs behind the back

That said it is one thing having attractive and industry-leading salaries and bonuses, it is another delivering on them. The quickest way to demotivate a sales rep is to offer them the world and then put in so many hurdles in the way that bonuses end up becoming unfulfilled dreams. Very soon your sales reps will behave like they have millstones around their necks, which will only help drag your own business down with them.

3. It’s all about the leads

“Just give me some good leads,” is what the legendary Jack Lemmon pleads for in the classic Glengarry Glenn Ross, a film that tells you all you need to know about the mentality of a sales rep down on their luck. For Lemmon, it was all about persuading Kevin Spacey to give him some good leads to go and try to persuade homeowners to buy aluminum sidings for their house. For a wine sales rep, it is about giving them enough good accounts that will give them the easy sales on which they can rely on and build the confidence and foundations to go out and pin down the more elusive customers.

4. It’s the wine stupid

When a wine sales person starts having trouble selling wine, the immediate response is to start questioning how good they are at selling wine. But what if it is the wine range, and the individual wines that are actually the problem? Just looking at the bottom line sales figures does not always tell the full story. Wines ranges can become unfashionable in just a matter of months if they don’t have enough of the go to, on trend wines on there. It probably would not have mattered three years ago if you did not have an Albarino, a Picpoul de Pinet or a Falanghina on your list. But pity the poor sales rep trying to sell in a range without them today.

5. Part of the family

How involved are the sales reps in the big decisions being made about what wines are being kept or dropped in your next wine list review? After all they are the ones talking to customers day in day out about how well individual wines on that list are being tasted and what is in favour or not. It is surprising how far down the pecking order an average sales reps’ views are. Being out on the road can get lonely, and any steps that the main business can take to make their salespeople feel involved, and included in the wider business will go a long way to keeping them happy.

International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show(IBWSS) London Exhibitor Registrations Now Open. Register Now.