Summer sorted: £79m wine retailer on fruity fizz and gin hybrid launches
- Credit: Broadland Drinks
Rose to go. Vegan merlot. Raspberry and elderflower fizz.
Those in the market for the perfect tipple for a Great British summer, whether it's a picnic or drinks in the pub, will be able to find it among a raft of new launches from Norfolk's £79m drinks producer.
Cawston-based Broadland Drinks, the maker of brands like Minivino, Proudly Vegan and Three Mills, said the aim of its summer launches will be to help every customer enjoy the easing of lockdown measures.
Chief executive Mark Lansley said: "Prior to lockdown our most popular products were the drinks between 5.5pc and eight or nine per cent ABV and in smaller bottles or even cans and tumblers. However from March last year we saw people buying the wines of between 11pc and 15pc - and larger bottles.
"This is partly down to the fact that people were panic buying and the retailers we stock like supermarkets were stopping people from buying loads and loads of bottles. So customers were buying the stronger stuff in the quantities they could purchase it in.
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"I think as a nation though we'll want to move back to those lighter, healthier, and perhaps more celebratory drinks. In our next releases we have a four per cent ABV black cherry fizz, a canned botanical drink which is a mix of gin and wine, and a new rose vino verde which is a much fresher taste.
"They're all the sort of drinks you'd take to a picnic in the park park, to a socially distanced barbecue, the pub gardens, this summer."
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And Norfolk-made wine, which is among the 500,000 litres of drinks leaving the factory every week, will continue to prove popular with overseas markets, Mr Lansley said.
"The US absolutely loves Norfolk wine, which I think is testament to the flavour profiles we can get. It has been a tough year because of changes to alcohol tax on wine concentrates, as well as Brexit and the virus, but I can see that market - which is three times the size of our own - continuing to grow on the year we've had," he said.
On whether Broadland Drinks would ever launch a B2C subscription package, Mr Lansley said: "There are a couple of reasons why we wouldn't. Firstly, it might work in competition with some of the customers we supply which isn't preferable. The second is that I believe, once the world begins to move on from the pandemic, we will fully begin to appreciate the magnitude of the climate crisis.
"When I look at subscriptions I see a lot of cardboard, a lot of individual shipments and delivery vehicles, which all add to a carbon footprint. A couple of bottles of wine - in domestically sourced and often vegan packaging - on the back of a supermarket delivery van is a much more sustainable method of retailing."