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Jascots toast fine wine sales

Jascots is toasting the success of its new dedicated fine wine arm, which has grown to around 8% of total sales value in the first quarter of 2022. 

The company, which was founded in 1991, established its dedicated fine wine arm in December last year, after seeing strong demand last year and turnover rising by around 300% compared to the previous year’s sales. The department is being headed up by Omar Raafat, the former director of fine wine at Bibendum and Enotria.

A spokesman told db that demand for fine wine had been strong in the wider industry throughout the pandemic both for investment and enjoyment.

“Prices have grown significantly, offering good returns to investors and yet demand has remained very strong amongst consumers that are enjoying the wines to drink now,” they said. “Our fine wine is sold 99% into restaurants and hotels so the En Primeur and other futures stories don’t contribute to our success which has been driven by the growth in our premium on-trade customer base (up by 45% since pre-pandemic), which now includes over 50 Michelin rated restaurants, and the broadening of our range.”

The fine wine offer now numbers more than 500 bins, including first growth Bordeaux, Super Tuscans, top Burgundy and icons from California, which are offered on a three day delivery service, with many wines available by the bottle as well as by the case.

A key area for focus is fine wine for Gastropubs, a spokesman said – Jascots previously told db that its fine wines were not solely the reserve of the top end and Michelin starred customers, but also focussed on “great gastropubs with the customer base to sell fine wine to”.

“This is our key area of focus for the coming quarter, we have invested in longer stocks of fine wines that will allow customers like these to make longer-term listings with confidence,” they said. “We are fortunate to have colleagues in Bordeaux as negociant Yvon Mau are part of our Freixenet Copestick group of companies. They have made available to us some fantastic wines in good quantity from Bordeaux in particular. We have had a great response to this proposition though it is very early days.”

Jascots’ managing partner Miles MacInnes said the growth thus far – from 5% of total sales in the final quarter of last year to 8% in the latest three months – had been very encouraging and the fine wine section had become an important part of its premium on-trade offer.

He said that while the emergence of the Omicron variant in December had been a blow for its customers, with a knock-on effect to 2021, the current signs were encouraging.

“Signs are that the market is returning to health, although huge staffing and pricing challenges continue to cause concern for hospitality operators of all kinds. Alongside our producers we will continue to do everything we can to support our customers and mitigate the ongoing inflation in the supply chain,” he said.

The company reported that last month Jascots enjoyed its strongest overall sales month since being acquired by Freixenet Copestick in December 2020 with trade customer numbers up almost 7% versus the previous high in November 2021. Q1 sales (January through March 2022) were 155% up versus 2021, with the average bottle price also rising by 12%.

Jascots was bought by Freixenet Copestick out of administration in 2020, after a challenging year due to the impact of Covid-19 on its client base.

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