It came as a surprise to learn that Britain has become the world’s biggest wine importer.

Vinexpo says wine consumption in Britain increased by 12% between 2003 and 2007 and forecasts continued growth over the next five years, doubtless at the expense of ale, lager and other beverages. Our licensed retail customers have the benefit of the FWD Wine Blueprint to ensure a balanced well merchandised range, but if they are going to enjoy a share of this anticipated market growth then changes are essential.

We have to improve our promotional offering, move away from ‘unprofitable’ ‘3 for a tenner’ deals on heavily branded Californian and Australian wines, and encourage consumers to move up to higher priced, better quality wines. Many independents appear caught up in a wine time-warp based on late 1990s drinking habits, and this needs to be addressed urgently.

Nestle says its KitKat Perfect Break promotion offering holidays to home improvements as prizes is supported by its biggest media campaign ever. Its pound;16m spend over the year has begun with a great TV supermarket checkout ad which I have seen a number of times on terrestrial TV stations. I’ve already registered on line to enter the prize draw.

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