Star takes wine support to new level with dedicated buyer

Star Pubs & Bars has appointed a dedicated wine category buyer. A former wine buyer at Tesco, Roberta Neave’s remit is to increase the company’s category support to licensees and to broaden and upgrade its wine range to make it competitive with that of wholesalers and wine merchants.

To kick off the new wine programme, Neave has conducted a range review, and having identified gaps in the range has added 50+ new lines which will go live from 1 October.

Licensees will see an increased depth of customer favourites such as Sauvignon Blanc and Prosecco, as well as the addition of more specialist premium wines. Accompanying category insight, deals and point-of-sale materials are also being created to help licensees to drive sales.

Neave said, “We’ve done a lot of work with our suppliers to identify areas where we can improve our offer. We’ve increased our depth of range on core varietals like Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc to make sure we are offering both choice and value for money.

'Just as excitingly, we have expanded our breadth of range to incorporate those varietals that are seeing the most growth such as Pinot Noir, Picpoul, and Malbec. We want to encourage trial and exploration, without overstretching customers’ wallets.”

Star Pubs & Bars is also replacing 12 bottle with six bottles cases, which its research shows are more popular with licensees, and is introducing a focussed range of sparkling, fortified and premium wines in its single bottle pick solution - where licensees can mix any six bottles with the full range of spirits in a mixed case of six bottles. And, in line with changing consumer consumption patterns, it is increasing its range of formats, from 187ml bottles to Magnums.

Neave added, “Licensees can choose where to buy their wine, so our service needs to exceed what they get elsewhere. We’ll be offering a selection of good, better and best wines in each country of origin and grape variety, with more high-quality options to enable licensees to capitalise on the premiumisation trend, which shows no sign of relenting.”