drinking white wine

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Growth in posh booze

Sir, We were pleased to see the results from your recent Britain’s Biggest Alcohol Brands list, which demonstrates a rising consumer trend towards premiumisation and an opportunity for retailers to cash in higher margins from brands like Estrella Damm.

Younger consumers are more aware about what they drink, and have more choice, but this doesn’t stop them from enjoying their preferred tipple. Instead, we have seen a change in the way they drink and predict the ‘less but better’ ethos behind the growing interest in premium drinks will continue driving quality alcohol consumption.

World beer, for one, is going from strength to strength despite the overall decline of beer volumes - bringing a sense of provenance, heritage and authenticity to consumers.

It will be interesting to see where premium brands score next year - possibly even more highly, as health and food association trends endure.

Jim Hopkins, off trade category manager, Marston’s

A challenge for Lidl

Sir, Oxfam recently recorded Lidl at the bottom of the list of supermarkets making progress on human suffering within global food supply chains. If left unaddressed, it could lead to Lidl losing some hard-won ground against rivals.

As today’s shoppers demand more accountability, this can be an opportunity for Lidl to review its approach and really connect with what consumers care about. Its commitment to a human rights impact assessments on its supply chain is a first step in demonstrating that value-based retail can work in tandem with ethics, but more must be done.

So far they’ve been exemplary in building loyalty and keeping consumers on side. Will they rise to the challenge to satisfy new consumer demands in this competitive category?

Aaron Shields, executive strategy director, Fitch

Unpleasant plastic

Sir, I read with interest your Daily Bread blog on Evian’s recycling plans.

Your point about the recent pictures of littered plastic bottles from the Glastonbury clear up spark an interesting debate.

I had the same experience at the Leeds Festival last year with plastic takeaway trays, plastic bottles and plastic pint glasses. While there needs to be progress in collection and recycling rates of plastic, some human responsibility is also required.

Isn’t it interesting that the same demographic that preach to us all about saving the planet are the ones littering England’s green and pleasant land?

George Slack, managing director, National Flexible