Issue Iss2 2008
A vintage year
With a growing premium wine and beer range, Barrel Booze’s future looks extremely promising
Barrel Booze first opened its doors for business in 2000, and in the very beginning the company was committed to supporting local pubs, clubs and retailers in its home area of Luton. As a result of the organisation’s excellent level of customer service, however, the business expanded rapidly, achieving a turnover of £4 million in around just two years.
In 2004 Barrel Booze decided to develop and build up a core range of its own brands, which meant finding a whole raft of collaborators, including suppliers. As a result, the company quickly created a portfolio of products in demand throughout the length and breadth of the UK. Initially the business launched Primus, a 5.2 per cent genuine Belgian lager, aimed to give the customer an authentic finer quality lager at a superior price to its competitors. Its tremendous success established Barrel Booze as a premier drinks company specialising in marketing brands for the independent sector.
Today, Barrel Booze is a leading drinks specialist, and wholesaler of alcoholic beverages. The organisation boasts an impressive selection of approximately 50 premium wines in different sizes and styles, and a range of high quality imported Belgian lagers. Barrel Booze serves the independent sector with a portfolio of products that is both unique and in great demand.
The business’ selection of wines includes Versare (marketed as the affordable Italian luxury), Pacific Heights from California, and Auction House from Australia. Whatever their geographical source, though, all of these wines have one thing in common, incredible quality at a highly competitive price point.
Barrel Booze is continually focusing on improving its product range. With this in mind, the company launched its latest premium wine range, Auction House, in February 2007. Auction House wines are grown throughout South Australia, concentrating in the Adelaide hills, part of the Mount Lofty Ranges. This area provides a great growing area for many grape varieties due to the various microclimates depending on the altitudes, slope and soil types.
Top quality Auction House varieties include chardonnays, sparkling wines, and Sauvignon Blanc. The wines growing conditions allow for big plump red wines such as Cabernets and Shiraz. “This is probably the reason why Auction House Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot won a ‘highly commended’ at the 2007 international wine challenge,” as the company’s website states.
Since it was launched, the Auction House range has been extremely successful as a result of its high quality taste and presentation. When developing the range, Barrel Booze used a stylish and contemporary design for the mid price category. And now, the company has developed this range even further with the introduction of Auction House Rosé and Shiraz Rosé.
Another brand to look out for on the market soon is the Villa Del Sol. Barrel Booze will be launching this wine in the near future as a result of changes in customers’ demands. With clients spending patterns changing, people now have less money to spend on luxuries, which mean they are demanding lower priced wines, such as the Villa Del Sol. In addition, the company has recently launched the Las Montanas at the Northern Restaurant and Bar show in Manchester. This is the largest pub, bar and restaurant show in the north and opens its doors to some of the most important people in the food and drink industry.
Barrel Booze’s knowledge of the market stretches over 25 years, and coupled with its marketing strategy and competitive pricing policy, the business has developed a host of successful branded drinks. In addition to this, over the past few years the company has been redeveloping its warehousing facility in order to cope with the growth of the business. Having invested around £2 million in the project, Barrel Booze has refurbished its whole site, and in addition added a function hall with banqueting, wedding and reception hall facilities, which is one of the largest in the south east.
This project, combined with the continuous development of the business’ alcohol range has been a fantastic platform for the company to grow. In fact, Barrel Booze’s whole portfolio of wines has experienced substantial growth over the past 12 months, with sales of Pacific Heights Zinfandel Blush up by 47 per cent this year.
Looking to the future, the company now has plans for major growth throughout 2008. In order to achieve this, the business will continue to focus on its unique selling point: high quality brands that are competitively priced and exclusive to the independent sector.