This is a great deal for independents, providing a fair profit margin all round, but we still expect own brand spirits to capture a substantial chunk of seasonal trade. The spirits category is up over 5% this year and with many more retailers adopting the FWD Blueprint for Spirits we know we can enjoy an increased share of this extra trade.

A 30-minute wait in a checkout queue in Sainsbury’s at six in the evening with just two items in my basket suggests that standards of service in this major multiple are slipping. The long-faced floor management team looked on helplessly. A sorry wouldn’t have come amiss. I can’t remember the last time my local independent store kept me waiting.

The nation’s fascination with dance, thanks to Strictly Come Dancing, might just pay dividends for Lambrini, the slightly sparkling pear-based perry brand. As the wine market gears itself up for the arrival of lower alcoholic wines, its pound;5m consumer campaign including TV will surely help get the girls onto the dance floor.

The savoury snack market has masses of potential so we are encouraged by the introduction of Marmite Rice Cakes and Breadsticks and the 65p price ticket makes both products very good value. The brand has masses of potential and could yet spread into other categories.

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