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From Supermarket To Award Shows: The Boom Of Private-Label Wines And Spirits

05/07/2024 Explore how private-label wine and spirits are reshaping the UK market, offering quality and value through supermarket and retail innovations.

Private-label wine and spirits have seen an impressive rise in popularity in the UK beverage market, transforming the landscape of the wine and spirits industry. This trend, driven primarily by supermarkets and retail stores, offers a range of benefits for both retailers and consumers. This article explores the rise of private-label products, the advantages they provide, and how they are reshaping the industry.

The Rise of Supermarket and Retail Store Private Labels

Recently, supermarkets and retail stores in the UK have significantly increased their focus on private-label wine and spirits. Major players like Tesco, Sainsbury's, Aldi, and Lidl have invested heavily in developing their own branded products. This shift is driven by several factors, including the desire to offer unique products, control over pricing, and the ability to cater to specific consumer preferences.

Aldi and Lidl have been at the forefront of this trend. These discount retailers have built a reputation for offering high-quality, affordable private-label wines and spirits. Aldi's Specially Selected and Lidl's Cimarosa range are notable examples that have garnered critical acclaim and customer loyalty. The success of these products has encouraged other retailers to follow suit, leading to a broader range of private-label offerings across the market.

Source: The Gin Shelf

Benefits for Retailers

1. Control Over Product and Pricing: One of the primary benefits for retailers in developing private label wine and spirits is the control it gives them over the product and pricing. By sourcing directly from producers and cutting out intermediaries, retailers can offer high-quality products at competitive prices. This control also allows them to respond quickly to market trends and consumer preferences, ensuring their offerings remain relevant and appealing.

2. Brand Differentiation and Customer Loyalty: Private label products enable retailers to differentiate themselves from competitors. By offering unique and exclusive products, retailers can create a distinct brand identity that attracts and retains customers. For example, Tesco's Finest range includes a variety of wines and spirits that are exclusive to their stores, helping to build customer loyalty and drive repeat business.

3. Higher Profit Margins: Private label products typically offer higher profit margins compared to national or international brands. This is because retailers can control production costs and set their pricing strategies. The increased profitability from private label products allows retailers to invest in other areas of their business, such as marketing, store improvements, and customer service.

Source: Tesco

Benefits for Consumers

1. Quality at Affordable Prices: One of the main attractions of private-label wine and spirits for consumers is the combination of quality and affordability. Retailers can offer products that match or exceed the quality of other brands at lower prices. This value proposition is particularly appealing to budget-conscious consumers who do not want to compromise on quality.

2. Unique and Diverse Offerings: Private label products often include unique and diverse offerings that are not available from commercial brands. This diversity allows consumers to explore new and interesting options that suit their tastes and preferences. For example, Marks & Spencer's Found range features a selection of wines from lesser-known regions and grape varieties, providing customers with an opportunity to discover something new.

3. Trust and Transparency: Many consumers trust the quality and safety of private-label products from their preferred retailers. This trust is built on the retailer's reputation and commitment to quality. Additionally, private-label products often provide greater transparency regarding sourcing and production practices, which is increasingly important to consumers who value ethical and sustainable choices.

Source: Harpers

The Role of Branding and Marketing

Effective branding and marketing play a crucial role in the success of private-label wine and spirits. Retailers invest in creating attractive packaging, engaging storytelling, and strategic promotions to capture consumer interest. For example, Sainsbury's Taste the Difference range uses premium packaging and highlights the unique characteristics of each product to appeal to discerning customers. Retailers also leverage their marketing channels, such as in-store displays, online platforms, and loyalty programs, to promote their private-label products. This integrated approach helps to build brand awareness and drive sales.

Successful Private Label Brands:

Aldi has been a leader in the private-label wine and spirits market, offering a range of award-winning products. Their Greyson's London Dry has been praised for its quality and value. Aldi's Exquisite Collection, which includes wines from various regions has been recognized by many awards, showcasing the retailer's commitment to excellence.

Lidl's exclusive wine range is another example of successful private-label wine. The range includes wines from renowned wine regions around the world, providing customers with high-quality options at affordable prices. With most of the private label wines priced at less than £10, Lidl won 47 medals at the 2021 Sommelier Choice Awards, which is a testament to the exceptional quality and value of their offerings

Source: San Francisco Drinks Guide

Tesco's Finest range includes a selection of premium wines and spirits that are exclusive to their stores. The range features products from well-known producers and regions, ensuring customers have access to high-quality options. Tesco's Finest Prosecco and Finest Malbec are popular choices that have received positive reviews from customers and critics alike.

Marks & Spencer's Found range offers a curated selection of wines from lesser-known regions and grape varieties. This range provides customers with unique and interesting options that are not typically found in mainstream brands. Marks & Spencer's commitment to quality and innovation is evident in their private label offerings, which have earned a loyal following.

The rise of private-label wine and spirits in the UK market is a testament to the evolving preferences of consumers and the strategic vision of retailers. By offering high-quality, affordable, and unique products, supermarkets and retail stores have successfully tapped into a growing demand. The benefits for both retailers and consumers are clear, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down. As the market continues to evolve, private-label wine and spirits will undoubtedly play a significant role in shaping the future of the industry.

Header Image Source: The Grocer

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