Kavalan whisky

Tesco is adding premium spirits such as Taiwanese whisky Kavalan to certain stores.

Tesco is boosting its focus on premium spirits by rolling out a wider selection of high-end spirits in 50 affluent stores – a month after Sainsbury’s announced a similar move.

The new range will see 36 premium spirits introduced into stores that have been selected according to the demographic of their customers, from 1 July. Tesco is aiming to emulate the success of its Fine Wine bins which were introduced in more affluent stores, it said.

Spirits buyer Oliver Stevens said there had been “steady and consistent growth” in the premium spirits category. “The response from our customers suggests that there is a real potential to open up the top end of the market.”

Stevens told The Grocer the most expensive whisky in the range was around £80. He added there was potential to extend the range to include more super-premium lines.

The new line-up includes Kavalan, the first Taiwanese whisky to be sold at a multiple retailer; World Whisky of the Year winner Old Pulteney 21 Year Old; The Glenlivet 16 Year Old Nadurra Single Malt 70cl; Absolut mango; and Havana Club Selection de Maestros 70cl.

Stevens said Asian whisky was becoming increasingly popular in the UK and the store had had great success with a Japanese brand, Yamazaki. “By introducing Kavalan, Tesco is giving its customers the opportunity to experience a broader variety of styles.”

In May, The Grocer revealed that Sainsbury’s would be extending the trial of its ‘champagne’ stores and introducing the concept across the spirits category in 74 stores.