Tesco head of BWS Dan Jago has called for more organic, low and no-alcohol products as well better retail ready packaging.
Speaking at the Tesco Drinks Awards, Jago said the industry at all levels needed to drive moderate consumption and organic production. "We need more low and no alcohol drinks in the market in order to offer more choice," he said. "We need to get away from the perception of these drinks as only for the socially inept or drivers."
He encouraged suppliers to look at organic options for their products, too. "It is much easier these days to produce organic food and drink. The government is giving more help to these sorts of projects and I urge all of you to see how you can tap into this opportunity."
Jago also launched an initiative to overhaul retail ready packaging in the wine aisles this week. Working in consultation with six of its biggest wine suppliers, Tesco has drawn up new guidelines for suppliers aimed at making category management easier for shop floor staff.
In order to make transporting and opening cases of wine easier in-store, the retailer now requests that suppliers include an easy open panel in the top of the case and handles. Where possible the outer case should mirror the bottle label design and country of origin symbols should be included on every case. This would make it easier for staff to locate the correct wine case from mixed cages and to find the correct shelf, Tesco said.
Supplier Thierry's has already designed a new wine carrier pack under the initiative. Tesco Finest 2007 Ken Forrester Chenin Blanc will be available in the new format next month and Tesco Reserve Chenin Blanc will join in the New Year.
"We aim to have about 70% of the Tesco wine range packaged in line with this new directive by the end of February 2008," said Jago. "We plan to roll it out across the entire range next year, including bag in box, small bottles and Champagne."