Waitrose plans range changes

22 February, 2008

Waitrose is to carry out a full range review of its beer category, under new beer and cider buyer Neil Whelpton.

He said: "We will be looking to buildáon our reputation as the destination supermarket for quality beers and maintain our strong emphasisáon

local sourcing.

"Quality and provenance will be the key words at Waitrose as we seek to haveábeers and ciders on our shelves that customers will recognise as leadersáinátheir categor ies."

Whelpton has joined the supermarket from Innocent Drinks' This Water section, where he was commercial manager, and has also worked as a buyer for Sainsbury's

buying ale, stout and cider. He replaces Steve Wallace

and will report to beer, spirits and tobacco centralábuyeráGiles Fisher.

He told OLN he

was looking forward to a summer of growing cider sales and "interesting" beer promotions. "Euro 2008 will be an interesting period as many brewers will have been banking on England to qualify to drive their summer sales

- and their failure to do so should mean some highly interesting alternative campaigns," he said.

Imported beers will also be a focus foráWhelpton.

A Waitrose spokeswoman said: "His role will continue to build on the reputation for value, quality and innovation in the beer and cider rangesáatáWaitrose."

Waitrose was named Multiple Beer Retailer of the Year at the OLN Drinks Retailing Awards 2008.




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle ľ which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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