As OLN reported last month, Jewell was favourite to land the senior product development post after Pierpaolo Petrassi MW moved to Waitrose. She is currently wine trading controller at Spar and is expected to join Tesco in August.
Dan Jago, Tesco BWS category director, said: “She’s capable of being very commercial, is sensitive to the industry, has fantastic technical knowledge and is quite inspirational – when she gets behind some thing she can really enthuse about it.
“I’ll be asking her to stand back and look at the range, go out and talk to the industry and suppliers, and see where the emerging trends are going – and ask whether we have a range that’s structured to support them.
“Laura’s fresh pair of eyes will be useful to ask: ‘Deep down, do we really understand what customers emotions are around emerging trends?’ I think we’re doing a pretty good job but an extra 5% would make an enormous difference.”?Jago is also forging ahead with ambitions to double sales of its Finest own-label and increase the size of the range from 77 to 100 (OLN, 19 March).
The retailer has launched a limited edition Vintage 2000 range to mark Finest’s
10th anniversary. The line-up of 14 wines includes a Hunter Valley Semillon 2000 and coincides with the roll out of Finest bays in 185 stores, plus a 2-for-£10 promotion.
Jago added: “Finest is our strongest weapon to educate as it’s hard to educate with mainstream brands.
“Fiano typifies what we are trying to do with Finest by taking a variety no one’s heard of – customers say it’s like a posh Pinot Grigio. We’re going to do the same with Vermentino.
“We haven’t done Finest in bag-in-box but 50cl is something I’m keen to do. So we could get a Châteauneuf-du-Pape that’s £15 down to £10. We want to use Finest for exploration – there’s an opportunity to stretch customers.”?He said the Finest beer and cider range was also currently being revamped with new products, “none of which could be described as mainstream”.