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Adnams boosts own-label with premium tier

Suffolk-based retailer Adnams is upping its focus on its own-label wine range, with the addition of a new tier of premium wines that will go on shelf in the autumn.

Adnams Distillery
Production capacity at Adnam’s distillery has been trebled in the last year

The brewer and distiller turned retailer operates 13 shops in and around East Anglia and the South East, with around 45% of its sales coming from wine.

“We’re really focusing on the Adnams range – at the moment it is around 45 lines, including a few in magnums, but we want to take that to 60 by the end of the year,” Adnam’s head of retail Neil Griffin told db.

The move follows the introduction of the nine-strong Great Grapes entry level range earlier this year, concentrating on varietals including chardonnay and shiraz and retailing for around £6.99, which joined the main Provenance own label range from classic areas.

Griffin said the entire own label range, which was made for the company by a range of producers, was now tiered as “Good, Better, Best – or the What, the Where and the Who”.

“We are quite excited about it – it is a selection of wines based on a quality, value for money, not just slapping a label on it. We’ve always had an Adnams own label range, but only recently introduced a lower and higher end,” he said.

The new premium wines, which are currently being finalised ahead of going on shelf in time for Christmas, are set to comprise four bespoke wines from producers in specific regions such as the Medoc or Chablis, and will retail for between £12.99 and £24.99, Griffin said.

The Suffolk-based brewer and distiller reported strong sales in it retail outlet, with retail profits more than trebling from £173,000 in 2014 to £536,000 in 2015.

Overall operating profits at the company rose 73% to £4.1m, but turnover in the 12 months slipped 0.5% to £65.7m over 2015, on the back of a poorer first quarter, which lagged 3% behind that of 2014, it said.

Chairman Jonathan Adnams said the diversity of the business, which encompasses beers and spirits production, retail, hotels and pubs management, had given some protection against potential downturns in any one of the fields – a fact highlighted as the total UK beer market saw sales fell a disappointing 1.5%. However volume sales of beer at Adnams remained stable on last year, it said, with spirits proving an important development, with volumes up 39% on 2014, driven primarily by sales through third parties including supermarkets and pubs.

As a producer, the company is set to spend around £7m by 2017 in boosting capacity and flexibility, including an automated kegging line and new beer filtration and conditioning capacity. It has already spent £0.5m in trebling capacity in its distillery with the installation of two new stills, after reaching full capacity last year.

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