Waitrose plans range changes

22 February, 2008

Waitrose is to carry out a full range review of its beer category, under new beer and cider buyer Neil Whelpton.

He said: "We will be looking to build†on our reputation as the destination supermarket for quality beers and maintain our strong emphasis†on

local sourcing.

"Quality and provenance will be the key words at Waitrose as we seek to have†beers and ciders on our shelves that customers will recognise as leaders†in†their categor ies."

Whelpton has joined the supermarket from Innocent Drinks' This Water section, where he was commercial manager, and has also worked as a buyer for Sainsbury's

buying ale, stout and cider. He replaces Steve Wallace

and will report to beer, spirits and tobacco central†buyer†Giles Fisher.

He told OLN he

was looking forward to a summer of growing cider sales and "interesting" beer promotions. "Euro 2008 will be an interesting period as many brewers will have been banking on England to qualify to drive their summer sales

- and their failure to do so should mean some highly interesting alternative campaigns," he said.

Imported beers will also be a focus for†Whelpton.

A Waitrose spokeswoman said: "His role will continue to build on the reputation for value, quality and innovation in the beer and cider ranges†at†Waitrose."

Waitrose was named Multiple Beer Retailer of the Year at the OLN Drinks Retailing Awards 2008.

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