Lidl wine sales return to 37% growth

16th August, 2017 by Arabella Mileham

UK discounter Lidl has seen its wine sales return to growth of around 37%, the retailer has confirmed, following a slight slow-down in momentum.

Lidl previous UK’s French Wine Cellar Collection

The discounter’s share of the wine market currently reflects its overall grocery market share of around 5.4%, wine buying manager Anna Krettmann told db, but wine sales are ahead of the overall year-on-year growth of 19.4% (KantarWorldpanel, 12 weeks to 16 July), with value sales of wine growing at 37%.

“It slowed slightly, but is now coming back up,” Krettmann told db at a recent tasting, pointing out that this rates was almost comparable to the 38% annual growth in the category following the introduction and establishment of the Wine Cellar promotions.

“We are please it has stabilised a bit and good to see that growth again,” she said.

Maintaining momentum

Krettmann said increasing the number of Wine Cellar events from four to six a year had resulted in maintaining momentum within its promotions and ensuring a smoother supply across the year, as well as tapping into consumer trends more quickly.

“It has been easier to plan to ensure variety and different wines on show,” she told db. “More towards the end of 12 week cycle, there were more wines we had to double-face (filling in the gaps on shelf with another product to create the look of a perfectly stocked bay) or we’d run out, but the promotion team have done a good job at [smoothing out demand].”

“We only have a limited space and the core range comprises wines that people know and expect, so this allows us to have variety throughout the year and give more space, so it’s worked very well,” she said.

Lidl’s consultant MW Richard Bampfield said it allowed the discounter greater flexibility in terms of weather extremes which affected continuity in some regions and grape varieties. “You have to be more nimble on where the value is because prices have been very unstable, as the downside are climatic conditions are low yields, so you have to be more on your toes as a brand and see when regions over-perform in a particular vintage, when classic regions might have found it hard.”

Krettmann said Rhône wines had become more widely popular on the back of Burgundy being hit and that it was appealing beyond the traditional ‘Rhône drinker’ as consumers increasingly appreciated its diversity.

The retailer is also looking to bring in around ten more New World wines, from New Zealand, Australia, South America and South Africa, to its core range (as previously reported by db), which are set to hit shelves in time for Christmas.

The New World wines are expected to be a sub-brand under the Cimarosa brand, which will celebrate regional variations and plug a gap in the mid-tier, by retailing for a slightly higher price point.

The discounter has unveiled its latest autumn French Wine Cellar collection with 26 wine that will go on shelf on 28 September. The latest collection of the annual French wine focus concentrates on white wines and wines from regions neighbouring the classics, along with a few “quirkier” choices, Krettmann told db, however the size of the collection around 40% smaller than last year’s line-up.

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