Paul Hill catches up with Martyn Jones, the head of UK sales at Westons Cider
How has Westons helped wholesalers grow sales in the past 12 months?
We spend a lot of time working with and educating wholesalers about the cider category. We do this by providing range review advice, identifying gaps in the market and suggesting new products or pack formats to introduce.
What is the greatest challenge that the wholesale industry faces?
Consumer drinking habits are constantly changing, so to stay relevant it’s important wholesalers offer great choice and variety by stocking the leading brands, while also keeping the innovation pipeline coming through.
Alongside bestsellers like Henry Westons Vintage, try stocking other Henry Westons varieties, such as Aged Finish.
What trends and opportunities are emerging that customers can take advantage of?
With total value growing ahead of total volume sales, it is clear that consumers are taking to more premium offerings.
When looking to premiumise, wholesalers should consider the amount of shelf space they’re offering to PET formats and white/amber ciders, which are in critical decline. Instead, look to increase the presence of key premium and traditional ciders.
What challenges has Westons had to overcome in the past year?
Last year, sales of cider boomed, thanks to the combination of the hot weather and the World Cup, and it’s always challenging to follow that. However, over the 12 weeks up to July 2019, Henry Westons Vintage experienced the strongest growth in the cider category.
What is Westons greatest achievement in the past year?
At the end of last year, we introduced Stowford Press Mixed Berries to the market and it quickly became the most successful launch in Westons Cider’s history.
Henry Westons Vintage has also experienced further growth this year and has now had five consecutive years of double-digit growth. By expanding the pack formats for Henry Westons and introducing six-packs, we have enabled wholesalers and their customers to maximise sales.
What would you like to see happen in wholesale in the next 12 months?
Making sure wholesalers stock the right brands and formats is so important, and with a decline in PET formats and white/amber ciders, this has never been more critical.
Multipacks improve the value proposition for wholesalers’ retail customers, adding more opportunity for branding versus space on a single can or bottle. Additionally, we’ve seen that sales of Henry Westons multipacks offer wholesalers an opportunity to promote incremental sales thanks to the different drinking occasions these formats cater to.
Are you planning any activity of which wholesalers should be aware?
From a Cheltenham Jazz partnership for Henry Westons to on-pack promotions to encourage impulse purchases across the winter months, there is always activity running to boost consumer engagement.
What advice would you give wholesalers looking to grow sales in the cider category?
Make sure you have the optimum range for your customer base, and offer enough space to market-leading brands.
Also, around key seasons such as Christmas and the summer months, we’d advise wholesalers to give enough space to cider so they can maximise sales and respond to customers’ ever-changing drinking habits.