Carlsberg UK encourages customers to trade up

Kevin Ward (pictured), business unit director – impulse channel at Carlsberg UK, urges wholesalers to drive sales of the growing, higher value beer sub-categories.

What proportion of your business goes through the wholesale trade?

Over 15% of Carlsberg UK sales are through the cash & carry/delivered wholesale trade, with steady growth coming from the retail symbol groups and independent caterers. We expect this to increase further now that the Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme (AWRS) is in place and we welcome the new legislation and the positive response we have seen from all areas of the trade. As wholesalers expand their reach into foodservice and the on-trade, the boundaries are becoming more blurred and, as such, the traditional classifications are harder to measure.

How are you looking to develop your business through the wholesale trade?

The insight from SalesOut is becoming an increasingly important tool in driving distribution of our core lines, and the availability and ability to mine this information is hugely important to us.

We will continue to support all customer groups, with increased focus on symbol retail and the on-trade, allowing us to communicate with the end consumers more effectively. While the delivered aspect is undoubtedly growing, my experience of speaking to independent retailers is that they still enjoy a visit to the cash & carry, and therefore our focus remains in depot.
We need to understand foodservice in more detail and ensure our offer reflects operators’ needs. Consequently, we have placed dedicated resources in the casual dining area to better support our wholesale customers.

What are the key trends in beers and lagers and do you find that C&Cs/delivered wholesalers act on these?

World, premium and craft beer are very ‘on trend’ as consumers look to trade up and treat or reward themselves with something a bit different. Cash & carries and delivered wholesalers know these trends are true but are slow to re-proportion their space in depots and promotions to drive this growth in line with other channels. The opportunity this represents is growing, and it also includes gluten-free, which is fast becoming a lifestyle choice.

How can cash & carries and delivered wholesalers improve their sales of beers and lagers?

Increase their category and brand knowledge so that they can confidently talk to their customers and depot teams about on-trend categories and brands. Review space allocation in the depot by category versus their respective contribution to sales.

Depot managers should not always rely on deep discounting standard lager to drive footfall. They must drive sales and distribution of the growing, higher value sub-categories, educating retailers and caterers on the importance of these products and the fact that their customers will be looking for them.
We must remember that, as consumers, we now prefer simple everyday pricing. PMPs continue to help drive this price simplification.

Are there any cash & carries or delivered wholesalers you wish to highlight as being particularly progressive?

Over recent years, the wholesale sector has really upped its game. The big players see the independent sector as an ideal place to optimise the opportunities the different day parts represent in ‘food to go’ and ‘meal for tonight’. Equally impressive is that the smaller, more localised wholesalers are run by smart entrepreneurial people who are able to get their heads round changing cultural trends. The learnings when meeting with these people are invaluable in helping us at Carlsberg shape what we do.

Is there anything else our readers should know about Carlsberg UK?

We continue to focus on the core Carlsberg brand whilst accelerating the growth of San Miguel. We are leveraging the potential in the craft and speciality beer segment with our recent partnership with Brooklyn Beer, and we are seeking more draught beer dispense opportunities in the off-trade. Customer service remains a priority as we transition our distribution network over to DHL.

Tel: Carlsberg UK (01604) 668866
Published Date: June 16, 2017
Category: Meet the Manufacturer