British Private Brands Win International Wine Challenge

IWC Stage Awards 2012: Rob Lawson Photography

Over the last few years British supermarkets have placed an increasing emphasis on their Private Brand wines and have gradually gained credibility after demonstrating a continuing commitment and winning a number of prestigious award

British grocers won nine of the 41 awards given to supermarkets in the International Wine Challenge (IWC), with Tesco taking the top title for wine supermarket of the year. A team of world-renowned wine experts working with 400 judges lead the IWC. Each gold medal-winning wine is blind tasted at least three and up to six times.

Tesco Private Brand wines received three awards in the Great Value Champion awards including Tesco Finest Pouilly Fumé, Fournier Père et Fils (Great Value Champion White); Tesco Finest Gigondas 2010, Vignobles La Coterie (Great Value Champion Red) and Tesco Finest Sauternes 2009, Yvon Mau (Great Value Sweet Wine).

When accepting the award for overall supermarket of the year winner, Dan Javo, category director for beers, wines and spirits at Tesco said: “Fundamentally it is all about customers. We spend a lot of time trying to understand what they want and make sure that we are able to do it.

“But you can’t always follow the customer 100% of the time – sometimes you’ve got to lead.”

Marks & Spencer won the own label range of the year award and Innovator of the Year, as well as the great value rosé category for Le Froglet Rosé 2011. Sainsbury’s won the Fairtrade award for its Taste the Difference Chenin Blanc 2011. Co-chairman Charles Metcalfe said: “IWC medals help to take the risks out of buying wine and point consumers towards quality wines at all prices and in all styles.”

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.