Stephenson - who is known as the ‘Curious Bartender’, having worked for London hotspots including The Connaught, The Dorchester and The Ritz – will taste the range to advise on NPD, as well as providing tasting notes and cocktail recipes for new and existing products.
Lidl already has expert advisors working alongside its wine team in the form of three MW consultants: Richard Bampfield MW, Caroline Gilby MW and Ed Adams MW
Commenting on his new role, Stephenson said: “This is a really exciting time to be coming on board, and I look forward to working with the team to develop new and exciting liquids for the range – as well as offering advice to customers on what they should be buying, and for which occasions. I’ve been really impressed with the work of Lidl’s spirits buyers in recent years, and the resulting award wines are truly well-deserved.”
Last month Lidl took home two awards for Supermarket of the Year and Multiple Spirits Retailer of the Year at the annual Drinks Retailing Awards.
News of the appointment coincides with changes within Lidl’s spirits buying team, following the departure of Hannah Cvetkovic. As a result, Paul McQuade has been promoted to the role of spirits buyer; he has 10 years experience as a Lidl buyer.