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How Restaurants Can Take Advantage of Private Labels

Private label wine in a restaurant? Yes, it does not sound very appealing, but done right it can be extremely good value both for the operator and the customer.


Private label wine in a restaurant? Yes, it does not sound very appealing, but done right it can be extremely good value both for the operator and the customer. When we think of private labels, we immediately turn to the big grocery stores and their line after line of own brands that are mainly there to offer a cheaper alternative to major household brands. So it stands to reason that private labels do not really have a role to play in on-premise where restaurants and bars aren’t stocking brands in the first place. In fact, the idea of simply stocking the same wine labels that you can find at your local supermarket is a complete no, no for most operators. So would you think about stocking an own label equivalent? Here are some reasons why you should.

1. We all love own label

We might not be at the stage yet where we happily buy each other own label products for birthday or Christmas presents, but private label brands are now so integrated into our lives that there is little or no stigma attached to them, even at the highest levels of society. If the own label is to be successful in the on-premise sector, then it has the major retailers to thank for making own label such an accepted part of our daily lives, with different tiers of the own label to suit all price points, all benchmarked to match or be better than their brand equivalents. Consumers love their own label, so it makes good commercial sense to have them.

2. Own label does not need to look like own label We have now become so familiar and comfortable with buying own label brands that they now come in a whole array of guises, some of which we might not recognize as an own label at all. Welcome to the world of exclusive or tertiary brands. Products that look and feel like a brand in their right, with only the most aware of consumers aware that they are actually buying their own label product. It is those exclusive-style own label brands that are gift-wrapped for the entrepreneurial restaurant or bar owner.

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3. Going exclusive

The reason our major retailers now stock so many of these exclusive of tertiary brands is that it gives them complete control of their wine supply chain. They can work either directly with producers or their suppliers to develop brands that they know are right for their customers. Restaurants and bars can now do the same. Why give up all that margin and profit for every wine you stock when you can start creating brands of your own and start investing the profits to make your range even more exclusive?

4. Bulk is the answer

Once you have stepped into the world of exclusive and own label wines, then the next step of the journey is into bulk wine. Taking control of your own supply chain opens up new ways to cut costs and make efficiencies. Buying more of your wine in bulk, and then shipping and bottling it in the market not only saves you a lot of money, but it means you can be far more ambitious about the types of exclusive wines you can make and sell.

5. Long-term success

By selling more exclusive and own label wines, you are able to buy and secure greater volumes of bulk wine from producers and suppliers keen to tie you into long-term contracts. The bulk wine market is highly competitive with producers often holding all the cards when there are shortages of certain grape varieties. Going down the exclusive wine route will help not only your bottom line but help protect your future wine sales. 

Meet the best and the biggest bulk wine, bulk spirits and private label suppliers at IBWSS San Francisco on July 23-24. Get your free trade pass HERE