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Wine advent calendar and single-serve bottles shoot winery turnover to over £70m

PUBLISHED: 07:00 16 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:15 16 July 2019

Broadland Wineries bottling plant in Cawston.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Broadland Wineries bottling plant in Cawston. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2011

Wine advent calendars, single-serve glasses and fruit-infused wines have been credited with a leap in turnover to more than £70m at a Norfolk drinks distributor.

Broadland Wineries, managing director Mark Lansley at their bottling plant in Cawston.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLYBroadland Wineries, managing director Mark Lansley at their bottling plant in Cawston. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Broadland Wineries has reported an increase in revenue of 11.6% during year ended March 2019 bringing turnover to £70.6m.

The Cawston-based business said this has been driven by "significant growth" in key brands.

The biggest leap in demand was for its smaller serving bottles, with the Minivino line seeing a 6000% rise in sales.

"I think we're seeing this rise because wine has traditionally been in a fairly inaccessible format. It's been in a heavy glass bottle, you've needed a corkscrew and wine glasses. But with the Minivino range it's a glass that you can take with you anywhere," said Broadland Wineries marketing director Liz Cobbold.

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"Another big factor has been that you're not allowed to take glass into a festival so the fact that it's plastic is very convenient."

The team are capitalising on these trends by introducing more products, such as launching Minivivo Frizzante Rosé in a can and a Three Mills Botanicals range.

"The Botanicals range has come out of the gin movement. We've seen such a surge in gin that we wanted to add some juniper flavourings to our wines because it's a different offering that people are clearly enjoying," Ms Cobbold said. "We think that's why our fruit wines have also been selling really well - because people are more keen to experiment with what they like."

In the last year, the company has also introduced a new sister company, the Live Kindly Drinks Company, which is focused on social and environmental benefits of non-wine drinks.

Although these trends were particularly significant in the UK, further afield the wine advent calendar was a hit - selling out within days in the US.

"We believe the advent calendar did so well in the US because they're a bit further behind on demand with advent than the UK, they don't really do chocolate advent calendars like we do," said Ms Cobbold.

"But Americans do really love to go big over Christmas with gifting and the events leading up to it, so this was a new thing for them which they really enjoyed."

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