Friday, 19 October 2012=Frank Corr.
Three steps to improve consumers’ wine experience in the on-trade, and enhance profit margins were revealed by a research expert in Dublin this week.

csearsonLulie Halstead, Chief Executive of Wine Intelligence (pictured with Charles Searson) told an on-trade audience that Irish consumers are dissatisfied with the wine offering in the on-trade.  Ir

ish consumers drink wine in pubs and bars less often than their counterparts abroad, and are generally less willing to experiment with new wines.

These insights were gained from self-reported data from 550 regular Irish wine drinkers in March this year. Combining this data with UK-based research, Halstead offered a ‘Three Steps to Heaven’ approach to meeting consumer expectations:

1. Create awareness that quality wine is on offer by using   tangible cues that can be seen as the wine drinker arrives at the venue – blackboards, displays of chilled wine in icebuckets, wine lists and tentcards.  The research showed that 30% of consumers saw no visible cues in restaurants that wine was on offer. Less than 1 in 3 wine drinkers in a pub was offered a wine list.

2. Offer useful wine lists – short, laid out by style, and relevant to the food offering, with a choices of serve sizes. Style-driven wine lists are more useful than the traditional country of origin layout, and are proven to boost sales.

3. Generate consumer confidence to try new wines, by embedding great customer service in wine.  Only 1 in 10 wine drinkers felt their server was passionate about wine. Halstead recommended staff wine tasting, with a simple recommendation of “I tried that” works with consumers.

The presentation was part of Searsons Expert Series, organised by Searsons Wine Merchants.  The series aims to inform key decision makers in the hospitality trade on best practice in relation to selling wine.

Charles Searson said “We like to think Searsons is  innovative in our thinking on wine, and are delighted to bring a global expert such as Wine Intelligence to an Irish audience.  We are already using practical recommendations, such as creating wine lists by style.”

A lively panel discussion followed the presentation. The panel included Asheesh Dewan (Jaipur group), Ray Byrne (Wineport) and Emily Hourican (Hospitality Ireland) and Charles Searson.

Charles Searson was a judge at the Best Sommelier in Ireland competition on 2nd October,2012.

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