Day 2 Highlight From the IBWSS in London
After an event-filled Day 1 at the Royal Horticultural Halls in London, participants of the International Bulk Wine & Spirits Show (IBWSS) returned for a second full day of meetings, presentations and panel discussions. The snow did not stop visitors as many arrived early on Day 2 for extra time on the expo floor mingling with exhibitors from all over the world. There were buyers from retail chains like Tesco in attendance who were impressed with the quality and content of the presentations as well as the industry heavyweights presenting. Networking was a key feature at the event as the who's who of the bulk wine & spirits and private label industry convened at the IBWSS. Day 2 kicked off with a presentation by Mark Lansley, CEO of Broadland Wineries, who discussed industry best practices that can optimize the profitability of any bulk wine or private label business. As he highlighted in his presentation, these best practices need to take into account the needs of consumers, retailers, and bottlers. There are two areas where wine retailers can benefit the most, Lansley said. One is by simply increasing the efficiencies in the bulk wine supply chain. The other is by using private labels to enhance your profits. When attempting to leverage best practices, wine retailers should keep both of these in mind. This presentation was followed by a lively panel discussion hosted by Richard Siddle. Joining him on the panel were Robin Copestick, Managing Director at Copestick, Murray; Mark Roberts, Head of Sales at Lanchester Wines; Denys Hornabrook, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Vin-Exchange Group; and Neil Anderson, Marketing Director, Kingsland Drinks. The panelists discussed the major challenges, opportunities, and threats facing wine retailers as they build out their bulk wine and private label programs. One big theme that emerged from the panel discussion was the need to listen to consumers and offer retailers the solution to growth. By mid-day, the exhibition floor at the Royal Horticultural Halls had once again opened for business, giving buyers an opportunity to connect with a wide mix of wineries, distilleries, and negociants from North America, Europe, and Australia. In the afternoon, participants at the International Bulk Wine & Spirits Show turned their attention to marketing and branding issues facing both winemakers and wine retailers as they attempt to get the word out about their new private label brands. First up was Stylianos Filopoulos, Managing Director of the Wine in Moderation (WIM) Association, a nonprofit dedicated to educating wine industry participants about social responsibility. One important concept, says Filopoulos, is encouraging a healthy regard for wine appreciation in society. This means extolling the virtues of “wine in moderation.” Filopoulos explained what this concept meant from a practical, everyday perspective of a wine retailer. Another speaker during the afternoon session of the event was Neil Anderson of Kingsland Drinks. He focused primarily on the changing image of bulk wines, encouraging industry participants to “stop apologizing, start celebrating” the rise of the bulk wine shipping business. We’ve now reached a tipping point where bulk wines account for nearly one-half of all wine sold in the UK. As Anderson outlined in his presentation, the bulk wine business is good for both retailers (due to the increased profit margins) as well as for the consumer. Wine retailers should view the bulk wine industry through this prism – as a better way to serve their customers. Bulk wine shipping leads to better wines at better prices and can help to attract new people to become wine drinkers. Moreover, bulk wine is not just better for the UK economy and UK retailers. “Bulk wine shipping is better for the global environment… It is an issue that affects every one of us,” he said. Finally, the afternoon session wrapped up with a brief presentation by Geoff Taylor of Campden BRI, a food and drink research service. Taylor discussed the quality challenges facing the bulk wine industry. In his presentation, he outlined the most common problems and how to avoid them. His quality lab sees just about every problem that a bulk wine shipper could see or imagine, and his advice is that many of these problems can largely be avoided. After two full days of insightful presentations and engaging panel discussions, it was time to end the International Bulk Wine & Spirits Show with more activity on the showroom floor. Participants had one final chance to meet bulk wine and private label industry players from all over the world. With the bulk wine, spirits and private label industry reaching new heights within the UK, it is likely that many of the relationships formed during the two-day event will lead to profitable new business ventures and the creation of exciting new private label wines for UK wine drinkers.