Food Warehouse

Iceland has launched a 16-strong premium gin range into its Food Warehouse stores across the UK.

The range, which rolls out today (4 December), will run on gondola ends in Food Warehouses and a number of refit stores across London, featuring gins from the likes of Whitley Neill, Bombay Sapphire, Hendrick’s and The Lakes Distillery.

Iceland’s own label gin, Towpath (43% abv), will hit shelves for the first time, and three SKUs from posh mixer brand Fever-Tree will sit alongside the gins.

Iceland had “taken a few risks” said the retailer’s BWS trading director Ed Kerrigan, who stepped up from the role of Food Warehouse commercial director in September. “But that’s what it’s all about. I’m testing the water with a number of different things here, so we’ll see how it does.”

The gin range will retail for “five or six weeks” initially, Kerrigan said. Iceland would then “look at the bestsellers and take a view on what to do with them”.

Now was the right time of year to test the lineup, he added. “If some of them sell really well, we will think about whether they could stay in the range.”

The launch follows the introduction last month of a five-strong Iceland exclusive range of wines called El Macho, as well as the rollout of craft beer and wine Advent calendars. It marks a concerted shift towards BWS from Iceland, whose share of booze sales has traditionally been minute compared with other retailers.

Having trialled an extensive craft beer range in Food Warehouse stores over the summer, covering 40 brews priced at four for £6, Iceland would likely revisit the category next year, said Kerrigan.

“It did okay, but it coincided with a bit of a sales slump over the summer, which I think a lot of retailers had. So, I’m going to look at it again, although we might do it on a smaller scale, with maybe closer to 20 beers.”

Craft beer had a future in Iceland and The Food Warehouse, he added. “We just need to find what it is.”