The Co-op harnesses customers’ feedback for new ales

The Co-op is launching three ales in store this week that feature tasting notes written by its customers, on the bottles for the first time.

 

The new ales – a Golden Ale, Triple Hop and IPA from Frederick Robinson’s Brewery in Stockport – go on shelf this week, with ‘beer ‘bottle blurb’ written by Co-op members featuring on pack.

More than 70 members took part in tasting the beers, through the retailer through its members Join-In initiative, rating the beers and feeding back their comments. The winning descriptions were then picked by the beer buying team, and the note attributed on the bottle.

“This is the first time member comments have appeared on its products, although we have been looking at how they can be included on in-store promotion material,” The Co-op said.

It follows a similar move last summer in which a selection of customers created a series of ‘fun’ and unpretentious wine reviews that were use as shelf edge labels in store.

“Our research suggested that ‘wine speak’ and wine experts’ reviews were a real turn off when shopping for wine in Co-op,” the team said at the time. The tasting was about “trying to talk about our great wines in a way that was more appealing to our members,” it added.

The trial also found that 96% of members said taking part in the exercise would make them more likely to buy Co-op wines in future.

Last year the retailer starting stocking ales from breweries near to its stores, adding 56 new ales to its range across the UK. It subsequently surveyed more than 900 members across the UK for input on local suppliers they wanted to see in stores. it should further increase its regional real ale offering

The first of the refreshed local ales – from Cornwall – hit stores in February, with new Scottish ales set to follow.

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