Friday, March 27, 2009

In Vino Veritas: Tesco's Fresh & Easy to Introduce 25 New Wines as Part Of Wine Category Makeover We First Reported On in October, 2008

Wine Category Merchandising

Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market will introduce 25 new wine SKUS in its stores over the next three months, 15 of which will be proprietary wines exclusive to Fresh & Easy, according to wine category manager Karen Fletcher.

The 25 new wines will be a mix of domestic and imported varieties, Ms. Fletcher says, and will range in price from a low of $1.99 a bottle -to- $40 a bottle.

"Fresh & Easy's new selection of wines will be perfect for summer drinking and includes traditional favorites such as a California Cabernet from Sonoma. Unique imports will also be added to the company's range including a Malbec from Argentina, sparkling wines from Italy and a Tempranillo-Shiraz and Ribera del Duero from Spain," Fresh & Easy corporate wine category manager Fletcher says.

"We're always hunting for new wines so our customers have something new to enjoy. We have some great picks coming from California, Washington, Argentina, Spain and Australia. "Now that we're offering all of our wine at 20 percent off 6 (bottles), which is our best deal yet, it's a great opportunity for our customers to try something new, or to buy their favorite wines at a great price."

Tesco Fresh & Easy's Fletcher is referring in the quote to the retailer's just-launched 20%-off purchases of six bottles of wine or more promotion, which we reported on and wrote about in this piece yesterday: In Vino Veritas: Tesco's Fresh & Easy Kicking-Off 20 Percent-Off Six Bottles Or More Wine Promotion This Week; Promotion Runs Until April 25.

In October of 2008 Fresh & Easy Buzz reported exclusively about the wine category review led by category manager Fletcher taking place at Fresh & Easy corporate headquarters in El Segundo, California. [That story: Category Management Report: Fresh & Easy Conducting Wine Category Review and SKU Rationalization; We Offer Some Analysis.]

Additionally, in this November 11, 2008 piece [Wine Category Report: Tesco's Fresh & Easy Kicks Off New Merchandising and Promotional Efforts Designed to Grow Wine Category Sales.] we wrote about Fresh & Easy's plans to grow its wine category sales.

The introduction of the 25 new wines over the next three months, along with the 20%-off deep-discount promotion launched this week and running until April 25, are a direct result of the wine category evaluation we wrote about in October of last year and the merchandising and promotional plans we reported on in November, 2008.

Own brands

Proprietary brands and wines are a major part of Tesco Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market's wine category merchandising strategy.

The strategy comes directly from United Kingdom-based Tesco, which is one of the top retailer's of wine globally. Tesco creates and merchandises numerous varieties of proprietary wines in its stores in the United Kingdom, where its that nation's leading food and grocery retailer, and elsewhere throughout the world where it has stores.

Tesco also is the number one retail buyer of Australian wines, and as a result is able to get excellent bargains on Australian-made wine to use in its various proprietary wines. For example, the Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market proprietary value brand, Big Kuhuna, which it sells for $1.99 a bottle in California and for $2.99 in Nevada and Arizona, is an Australian wine. There are two varieties of Big Kahuna, a white and a red.

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market wine category manager Karen Fletcher is familiar with this system since she came to Tesco's Fresh & Easy from Tesco in the United Kingdom.

Master of Wine

Tesco's Fresh & Easy also uses a Master of Wine, who works with Ms. Fletcher and the wine category buyers to create the proprietary wines for the stores.

According to the Masters of Wine Institute, there currently are only 274 Masters of Wine, located in 23 countries. The designation requires rigorous testing in order to earn it. [You can learn more about the Masters of Wine designation here.]

New wines: pricing

Tesco's Fresh & Easy isn't saying what percentage of the 25 new wines to be introduced over the next three months are in what price ranges; just that the retail price-points will range from $1.99 -to- $40. However, according to a source, we're told that the majority of the 25 new wines will be in the value-price range, which generally means under about $12 a bottle.

Right now wines selling for under $10 a bottle make up the vast majority of the volume being sold, with wines priced at about $6.99 and below comprising the highest percentage of the under $10 segment.

In other words, with wine as with most all else at present, value is ruling among shoppers.

SKU rationalization

Tesco's Fresh & Easy also doesn't say if it's discontinuing any wine SKU to make room for the 25 new varieties. We can report that the retailer is eliminating some slower moving wines as part of its category evaluation and the introduction of the new SKUS. Out with some old, in with some new -- that's what a category evaluation and SKU rationalization is all about.

As part of its strategic objective to increase wine category sales, look for additional new category developments and promotions in the coming months, in addition to the introduction of the 25 new wines over the next three months, and the 20%-off promotion which lasts until April 25.

Below is a linked selection of a few wine category pieces from Fresh & Easy Buzz:

[Reader Note: You can follow Fresh & Easy Buzz around on at]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The math is sending me to Beverages & More today. If I buy 6 bottles of wine for $30 at BevMo I can get 6 more, total of 12, for $30.30 with that deal. If I buy 6 bottles of wine and it totals $30 at Fresh & Easy, I get $6-off,the 20%, a total of $24. No contest.