Operators should ensure outlets are well-stocked ahead of major events
THE World Cup may be almost over, but the next of 2014’s major events – the Commonwealth Games – is less than a fortnight away, with the Ryder Cup only a few weeks after that.
And the operators who have planned ahead for these occasions will be the ones best-positioned to capitalise, say wholesalers.
Ensuring there is enough stock will be vital, said firms.
“Stock availability is essential in ensuring you have maximised this opportunity,” said Simon Hannah, managing director at JW Filshill.
“Ensure all of your chillers are fully stocked and that cold soft drinks, beer, cider and wine are always available.
“And consider some additional chilled equipment for back store stock.”
When it comes to the big summer events, operators shouldn’t be worried about over-ordering, according to Julie Ingham of Continental Wine & Food (CWF).
“Think about the products that will be needed and order in extra,” said Ingham. “The last thing that should happen is that there are shortages during this time.
“Anything that doesn’t sell through will not go to waste when the festive season is just around the corner. We are able to respond to our customer requirements with dedicated deliveries but obviously the more warning we have the more likely we will be able to satisfy demand.”
Positioning an outlet as a venue in which to watch live sport isn’t the only way to make the most of the summer, however.
Stephen Crawley, chairman of online wholesaler Ooberstock, said there is also potential for outlets to appeal to those weary of sport.
“Motivated on-trade businesses should be able to capitalise on these world-class events, whilst other pubs and bars may choose to be sport-free zones,” said Crawley.
Again, forward planning was said to be essential to ensuring the right stock is in place at the right time.
“The key is having a plan – planning in advance and making the most of all opportunities all year round,” said Crawley.
“And that includes having the right distribution and stock in place.”
Choosing the right stock will be of paramount importance, and is something wholesalers will be able to help advise on.
“As the temperature rises consumers look to lighter, more refreshing drink styles, so it follows that wine sales increase, with rosé and sparkling wines becoming more popular,” said Ian Cumming, commercial director of Inverarity Morton.
“Pimm’s, of course, enjoys a bit of a revival over the summer, as do drinks that are designed to be served over ice. Cider makers are really capitalising on seasonal trends by releasing limited edition flavoured ciders and bars with a strong summertime cocktail list should benefit.”
Wine, Prosecco and beer were among the products tipped by Ingham, at CWF, to be top sellers in the coming weeks.
“It is also crucial that operators can choose from good quality value for money options as well as the more expensive brand leaders to make the most of this additional trade,” said Ingham.
Frank Fraser, operations manager at Bestway Batleys Foodservice, advised operators to consult their wholesaler’s business development executives, who can provide insights on “growing consumer trends, inform [licensees]of NPD and promotions and work with publicans to develop the optimum range for their business”.
And it seems those with the right offer could reap the rewards.
“We would expect the summer of sport, including the Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games, to have a positive effect on the Scottish on-trade,” said Chris Cosh, procurement director for Wallaces TCB. “The country is set to experience a significant increase in tourism and many local consumers who typically wouldn’t visit licensed premises during the week will do so to watch sport, making this an exciting time for licensees.”