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Co-op rearranges wine aisles by grape and country to boost experimentation

UK convenience retailer the Co-op has overhauled its wine aisles to group its range by grape type or variety to make it easier for customers to experiment, as well as extending its premium own-label Irresistible range.

The changes in store follows research by Co-op, which found that consumers often feel “overwhelmed” when buying wine and lacking confidence to try something new.

It has therefore added navigational shelf barkers -shelf edge signage – to make it easier for shoppers to find their favourite wine styles, as well as introducing the new layout across nearly 2,000 stores, which will see similar styles grouped together to encourage shoppers to try new wines.

Joe Turner, Co-op commercial buying manager for wine and spirits, said the retailer wanted to help customers navigate the range.

He said:”We expect this to also encourage trial across countries of origin too, with a choice of Malbecs from different countries merchandised all together for example. This is just the first step in making Co-op’s in-store offer more accessible.”

In addition to the in-store reshuffle, it has extended its Irresistible brand, which was relaunched earlier this year, with five new lines from Spain, France and Italy.

The additions include its first own-brand Rioja Blanco from family-run winery Muriel, Viña Gala Rioja Blanco DOC 2022, made from a blend of Viura and Tempranillo (retail price: £7.50). Other additions include; a Côtes de Provence Rosé 2022, (retail price: £10.50), Grenache, Cinsault, Carignan and Syrah blend from Maîtres Vignerons de Vidauban; a lightly oaked Languedoc AOP 2022 from Jean Claude Mas; a Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie 2022 produced by Castelnuovo del Garda winery in the Veneto, and a Salice Salentino Riserva DOC 2020, a full-bodied red wine from Puglia, made from Negroamaro grapes.

In March, the convenience retail relaunched the Irresistible wine range with a new logo and branding to give better stand-out on shelf, rolling out its new ‘gold crest’ design, which has now been extended on four more lines.

It also added a selection of “esoteric” wines including the retailer’s first Swiss wine, a light easy drinking “bonkers blend” of Pinot Noir and Gamaret from Les Celliers de Vetroz in the Canton of Valais that buyer Ben Cahill described as a “like a Swiss Beajolais”;  a Chilean País from 130 year-old-bush vines in Itata; a pale pink Sauvignon Blanc Blush from Vivianna Navarette’s in Chile’s Leyda Valley; and the range’s first Cabernet Sauvignon from Chilean producer Vina Indomita (retail price: £8).

 Turner told db at the time that since the premium range had launched ten years ago, customer circumstances have changed, and the retailer had spent the last two years taking a detailed look at how best to cater for its customers in “post-pandemic, inflationary times”, to determine what the range should look like going forward.

“Their needs have changed and we need to respond to that,” Turner said.

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