Suppliers rate Waitrose first

20 April, 2007

One hundred wine distributors give the supermarket chain top marks

It may trail its rivals for number of stores and bottles sold, but when it comes to the respect of its wine suppliers, Waitrose is by far the UK's leading supermarket.

In a major survey of 100 supermarket wine suppliers by OLN's sister magazine Wine & Spirit, the upmarket grocer was an emphatic winner in every category - voted the best for offering a fair price, for loyalty, for quality and for providing diversity of products.

Of the big four supermarkets, who between them have more than two-thirds of the GB off-trade wine market, Tesco was the clear favourite, coming second to Waitrose in all categories. Asda fared the worst, failing to register a vote in any of the categories.

The survey is the centrepiece of a wide-ranging investigation by Wine & Spirit into the multiple grocers and their impact on the UK wine market. Suppliers were generally upbeat about the supermarkets' contribution, with 85 per cent saying that wine quality had improved in supermarkets in the past five years . When asked about diversity within supermarket wine ranges, 80 per cent said it had improved in the past five years, while 20 per cent said it had got worse.

The investigation appears in the May issue of Wine & Spirit, which is available in branches of WHSmith, Oddbins and Majestic from April 24.




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Rosé tinted glasses

I was asked recently what I thought the biggest change had been in wine fashion in the past five years. My answer was unequivocal: sales of pink wines. From being a niche that expanded and contracted with the sunshine, rosé has subtly but steadily become a stalwart of many merchants’ ranges, with Provence firmly at the top and asked for by name.

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