BBR feeds demand for own label
Berry Bros & Rudd has unveiled a revamped own label wine range, complete with revised quality tiers and a new look, as demand for this type of offering rises among the merchant’s customers in emerging markets.
The expanded collection now features over 50 wines, divided into “Highly Dependable”, “Regional Reserve” and a new project involving small parcels from some of the company’s producer partners around the world.
Among the new additions are a Nero d’Avola from Valdibella in Sicily for the entry level Highly Dependable tier and a Grüner Veltliner from Nikolaihof in the Wachau for the Regional Reserve. Other changes see BBR’s own label Chianti promoted from an entry level offering into a Chianti Classico from Badia a Coltibuono, which now sits among the regional wines.
“We did quite a lot of work in the value range,” said Mark Pardoe MW, wine buying director at BBR, as he introduced the new collection at the merchant’s newly opened “Sussex Cellar” behind its London flagship shop.
Noting that the company had now separated its own label retail and wholesale offerings at the entry level, Pardoe explained: “We were being squeezed on the house wines and being made to compromise on price.” Following the overhaul, he confirmed that the retail own label for these wines is now “almost entirely domaine fruit.”
While own label has become an increasingly important tool for the supermarket sector in recent years, BBR’s buying director Mark Pardoe MW told the drinks business that the merchant’s own agenda for this side of its portfolio was different.
“It’s not just about good value for money, it’s educational,” he explained. “We want people to understand what these wines are about and why they have that reputation so we try to work with producers who encapsulate that spirit.”
He indicated that there was particularly strong potential for this own label range in foreign markets, revealing: “We’re doing a lot in the Gulf and other very interesting opportunities are opening up in the Far East and US.”
Explaining this demand, Pardoe suggested the range’s appeal for places with ”an evolving wine culture without a lot of experience about wine, who are asking for reassurance at a sensible price.”
He stressed BBR’s credentials in this respect, remarking: “Being a wine merchant is not just about selling wine; it’s about knowing where to source.”