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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Wed 21st May 2014 - Propel Wednesday News Briefing

Story of the Day:

Greene King Leisure Tracker reports April bounce in spending: Improved weather and the long Easter weekend have contributed to strong growth in British household leisure spending during April, the latest Greene King Leisure Spend Tracker reports. The uplift is reflected in other recently published national economic data for the month. Average household leisure spending in April was £215, up 8% compared to March 2014, the highest levels seen since Christmas. In April, the average British household increased spend by 12% on eating out against March; this activity has now seen consistent growth in spend for four months running. Eating out spend grew substantially in April versus the previous month, with households spending an average of £84, up 12% on March. The latest report has revealed that the strong spend growth was driven by regions outside London and the south east, rising by £18 and £8 respectively. Steve Jebson, Greene King’s commercial director, said: “As expected, special occasions through April gave Britons the perfect reason to go out and spend money. Growth in leisure spending was strongest outside London and the south east providing a promising early sign that the improvement in consumer confidence is spreading and that the economic recovery is taking hold throughout Britain.”

Industry News:

British Street Food app has 20,000 downloads: The British Street Food app has had 20,000 downloads since it was launched in July last year, chief executive Richard Johnson has told a conference in Oxford. Johnson also said that a trade show for Street Food will launch in 2015. “There are three trade shows just for coffee,” he said. Johnson revealed that British Street Food is developing street food brands for railway stations and airports and creating British Street Food areas at festivals. The company is also looking to pitch the best of UK street food traders against the Manhattan equivalents in a competition in 2016.
Dickie Brennan’s and RAIL win restaurant innovation award at NRA: Dickie Brennan’s Restaurants has been named Operator Innovator of the Year by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) for its use of the RAIL, a pay-at-the-table solution for full-service restaurants, at its New Orleans-based restaurants. Dickie Brennan’s and Viableware were one of three finalists in the Technology category nominated for the award and were honoured live at the annual NRA Show (May 17-20) in Chicago. The Operator Innovation Awards involve foodservice operators recognising peers who are transforming the restaurant industry through innovation. Dickie Brennan’s and the owner of Rail, Viableware, were selected by an independent team of restaurant operator experts from across the industry. The RAIL is a handheld device designed to look like the traditional bill presentation folder used at most full-service restaurants – but unlike the original, the RAIL will accept EMV or smart card payments, allow guests to securely self-swipe credit or debit cards, auto-calculate the tips, split the bill multiple ways, enable pay-by-item, and receive email receipts.
‘World’s most famous hot dog restaurant’ to close: A Chicago institution, Hot Doug’s, which has been called “the world’s most famous hot dog restaurant”, is closing permanently in October. Owner Doug Sohn said: “It’s time to do something else. There really is no overwhelming reason other than it’s time to go do something else. The plan is not to own a restaurant anymore.” At the weekend, there was a two-hour queue outside the restaurant as customers waited to be served one of the final hot dogs. Bon Appetit magazine listed it as one of the 50 Best Restaurants on the Planet. Hot Doug’s is also notable for its duck fat fries, served on Fridays and Saturdays only, in which the potatoes are deep fried in rendered duck fat.
Two thirds of restaurants in Crawley serving halal food in some form: More than two thirds of food retailers who were surveyed in and around Crawley High Street in Sussex serve halal food, but several do not make it clear on their menus. The Crawley News visited restaurants, takeaways and pubs in the High Street, Church Walk, Broadwalk and Ifield Road to ask whether the food they sell contains halal meat. Of the 28, just eight had no halal meat on their menus – with the remaining 20 offering some form of food that had been slaughtered in accordance with Islamic law. Nine of those which do serve halal meat either had no mention of it on their menu, or it was not made clear. Among the branded chains serving halal were Ask (some halal chicken options, such as pasta dishes, although halal not clearly stated on the menu), Domino’s (some chicken was halal, such as tandoori meat and roast chicken, and chicken dippers although halal not clearly stated on the menu); Giggling Squid (chicken is halal).
Wholesaler buys majority stake in experiental marketing agency: The drinks wholesaler Matthew Clark has bought a 51% stake in the on-trade experiential marketing agency Elastic. Elastic is a London based marketing agency that works with brands to implement activity based on strategic and creative thinking; building equity and growing sales through experiences, live events, promotions and digital, including social media. The acquisition allows Matthew Clark to offer brand owners more intelligence around their experiential activity through relevant and real time data. The key benefit that this collaboration will offer brand owners, is the opportunity to measure return on investment for consumer focused activity. Brand owners will benefit from the huge volume of customer insight Matthew Clark hold and will be able to track product sales, following brand experiential activity in target outlets. Elastic will continue to run as an independent agency. Steve Thomson, chief executive of Matthew Clark, said: “We are very excited to be offering this great opportunity to any brand that wants to engage consumers in the on-trade. We believe this new partnership will help justify the ROI for brands at the strategy stage of brand planning, through the development of campaigns based on unique insight - something other agencies are unable to do.”

Company News:

Carlson sells TGI Friday’s: US-based Carlson has sold the TGI Friday’s business to a pair of New York-based investment groups. Terms of the deal were not disclosed – estimates put the purchase price at around $800 million including debt. The buyers are Sentinel Capital Partners, which has an extensive background in the restaurant business, and TriArtisan Capital Partners, the merchant banking arm of Morgan Joseph TriArtisan. Carlson chief executive Trudy Rautio said proceeds from the sale of Friday’s will be invested back into Carlson’s travel business. “For Carlson, the transaction frees up resources that the company can deploy to focus on and accelerate the growth of its hotel and travel businesses, at a time when significant opportunities exist in these markets,” Rautio said. Sentinel, which will be the majority shareholder in Friday’s, already has a significant restaurant portfolio that includes Checkers and large franchise holdings of Church’s Chicken and Pizza Huts. TGI Friday’s restaurants employ more than 70,000 people globally, according to Carlson.
YO! Sushi accounts show franchise income boost: The annual accounts for YO! Sushi for the year ending 1 December 2013 show an almost two-thirds jump in revenue earned outside the UK from franchisee fees. The company saw revenue of £894,000 from outside the UK, up 58% from £563,000 the year before. UK revenue was up 13% to £70.15m from £62.07m the year before. YO! Sushi opened four restaurants and closed two to bring estate size in the UK to 66. Pre-tax profit was £4.69m, more than double the previous year’s figure of £2.19m. The company has 1,614 staff, up from 1,531 the year before.
Loungers holds £80,000 Loungefest for staff: The cafe-bar brand Loungers, led by Alex Reilley and Jake Bishop and backed by Piper Private Equity, closed all its UK sites on Monday so that 1,000 staff could journey in 23 coaches to take part in Loungefest, a day-long festival to celebrate the company’s progress. The event was held on a farm near Tewkesbury in the Cotswolds. The festival cost £80,000 to mount, not including lost takings. The company had 600 staff at the event last year and is expecting 1,600 next year. The event included three live bands, dodgems, an inflatable adult slide, a bungee, a big top tent with make-up artists, a sausage-eating contest, an ice cream stall, a hog roast, a Mexican food stall, and an enchanted forest with harpist. Bishop told Propel: “We take the opportunity to update staff on our progress and future expansion plans. We have four ‘Lounger of the Year’ finalists and an overall winner of ‘Lounger of the Year’ – Mike Vickery, who has progressed from sous chef to area chef overseeing 13 sites. As Richard Branson says, the way to get buy-in from staff is to throw a bloody good party. We’ve has scores of emails from staff thanking us. There was a great, relaxed day and a really harmonious vibe.”
Wetherspoon to open in Stamford more than a decade after first attempt: JD Wetherspoon is to own a pub in Stamford, Lincolnshire, next week (Tuesday 27 May) more than a decade after its first attempt. The company was denied planning consent for a site that was later opened as a pizza restaurant more than a decade ago, and more recently lost out to Loungers on the former post office site, which has been converted into a Cosy Club. The new pub, the Stamford Post in Sheep Market, will open after a £1.57m investment of the former Stamford Mercury offices. The exterior of the building has been totally transformed, with a beer garden at the front and a designated smoking area. Much of the interior will be inspired by the history of the Mercury, which is Britain’s oldest continuously published newspaper.
Marston’s to close final salary pension scheme from further accrual: Marston’s has announced it will close its final salary pension scheme to future accrual from 30 September. The scheme currently has 291 active members and has been closed to new members since 1998. The deficit on the brewer’s final salary pension scheme is £200,000, which is an improvement on the £5.1m deficit at the year-end. This comes after NEST was hired to provide the firm’s auto-enrolment scheme.
Red’s True Barbecue attacked over ‘help a vegetarian’ ad: The Red’s True Barbecue restaurant group has been attacked over an ad campaign that critics claim mocks domestic abuse charities. The billboard posters show a pale and solemn-faced young woman, with the strapline “Help a Vegetarian Today”. The poster copy continues: “10% of the UK could soon be affected by Vegetarianism. Don’t let Vegetarianism happen to someone you love. Together we can help. Call the advice line now.” The former chairwoman of Leeds Labour Society, Freya Govus, said: “Red’s new advertising campaign not only undermines the hard work of domestic abuse charities, but the experiences of those who use them, too.” The ads have caused a rumpus on Twitter, with comments including “I’m not a vegetarian, but that’s the most offensive advert to those that are – suggesting something is wrong with them!?” and “So unacceptable vegetarians get picked on enough. Being veggie is healthier, more economical and better for environment!” The chain, which has outlets in Leeds and Manchester, has defended the advertisement, claiming it is “tongue in cheek”.
Mitchells & Butlers and two staff deny serving food unfit for human consumption: Mitchells & Butlers and a former Ember Inns restaurant manager and head chef have denied serving food unfit for human consumption after the death of a mother-of-one from food poisoning. Della Callagher, 46, died after eating a Christmas Day lunch at the Railway Hotel, Hornchurch, Essex in 2012. Thirty-three people fell ill but Callagher was the only one to die after eating the turkey dinner. Former restaurant owner Ann McSweeney, 40, and former head chef Mehmet Kaya, 37, appearing at Snaresbrook Crown Court, denied serving food that was unfit for human consumption, as did Mitchells and Butlers. McSweeney and Kaya also denied perverting the course of justice in relation to falsifying records. McSweeney, of Suttons Avenue, Hornchurch, and Kaya, of Water Lane, Purfleet, Essex, were both granted bail until 6 October, when they will face trial.
Israeli chefs to open London restaurant next week: The three chefs from Jerusalem who opened Machneyuda in Israel will open the Palomar in Soho next Tuesday (27 May). Machneyuda has a loud, eclectic playlist and kitchen staff drink alongside the guests, invariably leading to impromptu “haflot” – cooks beating on pots and pans with drumsticks while patrons dance on tables. The Palomar will have a menu that includes Machneyuda’s most popular dishes, including creamy polenta in a jar, while the restaurant aims to recreate the original’s Jerusalem-style warm hospitality. Diners have eye contact with the chefs from the moment they enter and are immediately surrounded by produce. The bar facing the open kitchen is open to walk-ins.
Fleurets sells Brighton freehold off £900,000 asking price: The property agent Fleurets has completed an off-market sale of the freehold of OhSo Social on Brighton seafront off a £900,000 asking price. The site will continue to be run and managed by the existing manager. Amy Boyce. to keep continuity of operating style and its new owner will undertake a refurbishment. Kate Dowd of Fleurets said: “This is an unusual site and required an operator with experience in the local market at this beach location. The sale was achieved by confidentially approaching operators suitable to this specific site and once the decision was taken, the transaction was completed in less than two weeks.”
WH Smith to open three in-store Soho Coffee Co sites, ten sites to open in Ireland: WH Smith is to open three in-store Soho Coffee Co franchise sites, with the first already running in Reading. The Cheltenham-based coffee concept operates just short of 30 sites in airports, leisure centres, garden centres and hospitals. Two more units will open in WH Smith’s UK high street shops by the end of the summer. Penny Manuel, a director at Soho Coffee Co, said: “WH Smith is a pioneering retailer that has continued to evolve their presence on the high street and they have recognised the increasing demand that exists for a quality out-of-home food proposition and branded coffee offer.” Meanwhile Egan Hospitality, the Irish catering company, is to spend €2m (£1.63m) opening ten branches of Soho Coffee in Ireland. Manuel said: “Obviously there are lots of chains of coffee – Costa, Starbucks, Insomnia, companies like that. Where we’re different is that over 60% of our sales are in food: we do sandwiches, panini, jacket potatoes, soups, cakes, so we have a wide range of food, which is not necessarily the norm in coffee shops.” Egan Hospitality Group also runs Bel Cibo, and is contracted to supply catering for the Royal Hospital in Kilmainham, Dublin and the National Gallery in Dublin, as well as for a number of college campuses.
Punch Taverns sells two pubs in same village to local businessman: Two pubs in Aycliffe Village have been purchased as a package deal by an unnamed local County Durham businessman. The sale, which was handled by the property agent Christie + Co, involved The North Briton and The Royal Telegraph, both of which were owned by Punch Taverns. Mark Worley, a pub negotiator and associate director at Christie + Co’s Newcastle office, said: “Both pubs were in need of some investment and refurbishment. The North Briton is the larger of the two pubs and occupies a prominent half acre site on the main road through the village, whereas The Royal Telegraph is set back off the road. We are pleased with the sale and I am sure that the planned investment by our buyer will be to the advantage of the locals and villagers.”
Flesh and Buns launches limitless offer: Flesh and Buns, the Japanese izakaya, or food and drink bar, in the Seven Dials area of Covent Garden, London has launched a “bottomless” brunch menu, available every Sunday. The Flesh and Buns brunch menu will offer Londoners unlimited Japanese food with drinks for £29 a head. Chef proprietor Ross Shonhan said: “In Asia, brunch is very popular, and this way of dining is not dissimilar to the traditional British Sunday roast dinner. Our food at Flesh and Buns is designed for sharing, so the dishes lend themselves to family-style dining in groups. I always wanted Sunday afternoons at Flesh and Buns to be fun, boozy and an alternative to lunch in a pub.”
Star Pubs & Bars and Pickles Pubs partner in £375,000 co-investment: Star Pubs & Bars and West Yorkshire multiple operator Pickles Pubs, are jointly investing £375,000 in a complete refurbishment of The Malt Shovel in Harden, West Yorkshire, renaming the pub, The Malt, and transforming it into one of the best food pubs in the area, offering great cask ale and coffee. Work on The Malt begins this week and will take six weeks to complete. The Malt will retain its traditional character but will benefit from a larger bar and an orangery offering diners views over the garden. Four open fires, stone flags and wooden floors are all being reinstated to provide character and a warm and welcoming environment. Said Neil Pickles: “I know the area well and immediately recognised the potential of The Malt. It is a great pub that has sadly lacked investment.”
Robinsons mystery customer scheme reveals 9% standards-linked sales swing: Since launching in June 2012; Robinsons’ unique mystery visitor programme, Perfect Pub, has recruited over 1,000 customers operating as Perfect Pub ‘agents’ and has also revealed a 9% sales swing for Robinsons pubs linked directly with standards. “The results reveal what you hope – pubs that score higher sell more beer,” said David Bremner, director of marketing at Robinsons. “Our pub’s that score consistently well are 5%+ on beer volume. Pubs that have shown improvement in score over the last 12 months are up 4%, and those that have declined in score are -4% in volume. That’s a swing of 9% volume that is directly linked to standards. Raising standards is something all of our pubs can achieve at a relatively low cost.”
Las Iguanas adds cocktail bar at Bath site: Las Iguanas is to open a cachaça and cocktail bar called Cas Iguanas tomorrow (22 May) at its Monmouth Street site in Bath. Casa Iguanas will be focusing on Brazil’s favourite spirit, cachaça, and will have a selection of micro-distilled varieties to try. The company said: “Designed by B3, Casa Iguanas captures the spirit of downtown Rio and brings it to the centre of Bath. It offers escapism with its cool lighting, warm colours and exposed brickwork.”
Gordon Ramsay ‘to open restaurant in Hong Kong’: Gordon Ramsay is to open a restaurant in the heart of Hong Kong’s main eating-out district, according to local media reports. The news website Coconuts Hong Kong claims to have confirmation from three different sources at the Hong Kong operator Dining Concepts that the firm will be partnering Ramsay in a new, as yet unnamed restaurant on the mezzanine floor in the LKF Tower, Lan Kwai Fok, Hong Kong that is due to open in the summer. The space was formerly occupied by the Russian bar Balalaika, which closed last year. Coconuts said Ramsay and Dining Concepts’ managing director, Sandeep Sekhri, had been discussing a deal for some time and nearly settled on another location in Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. According to Hong Kong Tatler, the restaurant will be part of the LKF Hotel on Wyndham Street, and the planned opening date is some time in September. The news comes as Jamie Oliver prepares to open a Jamie’s Italian in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong and amid reports that the restaurateur Tom Aikens, youngest British chef ever awarded two Michelin stars, is working on a modern gastropub concept for the Pawn restaurant in Wan Chai, Hong Kong and the Hawksmoor team have been in the city searching for possible locations.
Young’s opens 17 boutique bedrooms at Wimbledon site: London retailer Young’s has opened 17 boutique bedrooms at the Dog & Fox pub in Wimbledon in time for the world famous Lawn Tennis Championships. The company stated: “The village’s oldest public house now offers London’s leafy suburb an elegant and stylish hotel, with bags of charm and character. Beautifully designed, the bedrooms seamlessly combine quintessential British style with contemporary, bold décor and razor-sharp attention to detail. Little touches such as the vintage tennis racquets and quirky Womble wall prints reflect its heritage and the local area, whilst tartan cushions, rich velvet fabrics, bespoke furniture and vibrant pops of colour create a warm and welcoming feel.”
Marylebone Leisure Group joins ‘City fringes’ rush: The EIS-backed company Marylebone Leisure Group has bought the leasehold interest in the Bear on St John’s Square in Clerkenwell, central London for an undisclosed sum in an off-market deal through the property agent Davis Coffer Lyons. It comes after the company’s purchase of the Longroom on St John’s Street nearby. Marylebone Leisure Group also operates the Marylebone on Marylebone High Street in Central London, the Princess of Wales in Primrose Hill, North London and Nonna Rosa in Uxbridge, Middlesex. Chris Bickle, associate director at DCL, said: “We have been seeing year-on-year increased demand for leisure opportunities in the City fringes, particularly for flexible pub, bar and dining businesses. Clerkenwell and Farringdon have been particularly popular recently: we sold the Plum Tree nearby earlier this year. Buyers are looking to capitalise on the impact Crossrail will have on the area and take advantage of the customer base, driven by the numerous office developments and diverse commercial sectors that are based here. There are some great food and beverage operators in the area and MLG is an accomplished operator. We believe the Bear will be the perfect addition to its growing portfolio.” Davis Coffer Lyons acted for the vendor, Bickleys Limited.
McDonald’s celebrates World Cup with fries box art: McDonald’s is marking the World Cup with the launch of fries boxes decorated with World Cup-themed artwork commissioned from artists around the world. By the start of the World Cup on 12 June, the boxes will be in 119 markets. The impetus was McDonald’s desire to better communicate with Millennials. Matt Biespiel, McDonald’s senior director of global marketing, told “It’s a generation that loves art, loves unique customisation, loves expressing itself and, of course, loves McDonald’s french fries. The idea was to use art in a way we hadn’t before, using the french fry box as a canvas. Once we had that idea, it sort of took on a life of its own.” McDonald’s began by reviewing the work of 500 artists around the world, before commissioning 24 of them to create “exceptional interpretations of the glory of the beautiful game”.
Burger King scraps 40 year-old slogan: Burger King is scrapping its 40-year-old “Have It Your Way” slogan in favour of the supposedly more personal “Be Your Way.” The chain says the new tag line will roll out across its marketing in the United States, including in a TV ad that will begin airing on Monday night. The line made its first appearance in an online video last month. Burger King said in a statement that the new motto is intended to remind people that “they can and should live how they want anytime. It’s OK to not be perfect. Self-expression is most important and it’s our differences that make us individuals instead of robots.”
Palmers reopens Anchor Inn at Seatown after £1m refurbishment: The Bridport-based family brewer Palmers has re-opened The Anchor Inn at Seatown in Dorset after a £1m refurbishment. The inn, which was closed from October for the work to be carried out, now has a terrace overlooking the beach and three guestrooms with sea views, as well as new kitchens and toilets. Palmers has invested more than £4m in its pub estate over the past two years. John Palmer, the brewery’s chairman, said: “The Anchor Inn is one of our flagship properties and we have invested a substantial sum to revitalise the building and provide the quality experience that our customers deserve.” Palmers is one of the oldest remaining breweries in the UK, founded in 1794.
Lace Market Hotel and pub close after no buyer is found: The Lace Market boutique hotel and its neighbouring pub have closed after it failed to find a buyer as a going concern. Administrator Smith Cooper said the level of interest for purchasing the business “was minimal”. It is part of the Finesse group, which has three other hotels in Belper, Castle Donington and Derby. These are unaffected by the closure. Company director James Blick said: “We are devastated we have got to this position, we will be doing everything we can to help our staff find alternative work and supporting them wherever we can at this distressing time.” The hotel and the nearby Cock and Hoop public house, which was part of the group, closed on Monday morning. Smith Cooper said both properties were sold to a private investor, who intends to refurbish them.
Cote linked to Cheltenham site: The French bistro chain Cote has been linked to a site in Montpellier Terrace, Cheltenham. The building, which previously housed a restaurant called the Montpellier Brasserie, with an art gallery upstairs, has been left closed after the owners decided to sell up. According to the Gloucester Echo newspaper, Pan Albion, a property investment firm which now owns the building, said it was too early to confirm the identity of the new occupants but confirmed the building, formerly an HSBC bank branch, will remain as a restaurant. According to the newspaper, Cote, the French brasserie chain owned by the private equity firm CBPE, has been “strongly linked to the premises”, with company representatives already expressing an interest. David Baldwin, who owned the Montpellier, said although it was a shame to sell up, “a good offer came in and we decided to take it. We’ve had a good three years. We worked very hard to turn the building from a bank into a restaurant.” Baldwin said proposals submitted to the borough council could see the restaurant increase capacity by around 50 covers. “Plans have gone in to take out the toilets, moving them to the top floor, and expand the restaurant into the first floor,” he said. “It will enable the new owners to take the restaurant to the next level.”
Activist shareholders keep up attack on Darden’s sale of Red Lobster: Activist shareholders in the American restaurant conglomerate Darden are continuing to oppose the proposed sale of its Red Lobster chain, calling the deal “grossly misleading” in its valuation. Darden said last Friday that it was selling Red Lobster to the private equity firm Golden Gate Capital for $2.1bn in cash. The move has been vigorously opposed by two activist investor groups, in particular, which have called for a special meeting of shareholders to oppose the deal, though it cannot be stopped by shareholders. The activists are angry that Golden Gate will sell the chain’s properties for $1.5bn and lease them back, which means it is paying only about $600m for Red Lobster’s restaurant operations. That would amount to less than 5.5 times the chain’s pro forma ebitda. In addition, they say, the transaction would generate about $500m in taxes and transaction costs that could be avoided.
Magners producer reports 10.6% rise in operating profit: C&C Group, producer of Magners and Bulmers, has reported sales up 30% to €620.2m (£504.9) in the year to 28 February, with operating profit up 10.6% to €126.7m. Chief executive Stephen Glancey said:“FY2014 is our fifth successive year of earnings growth and our full-year outcome represents a robust performance, with continued progress against all financial measures. This performance was delivered while managing the change associated with the integration of recent acquisitions in Ireland, Scotland and the US. Despite investing just over €80m of capital during the year, our balance sheet remains strong, with net debt/ebitda of less than one times at the year-end. Balance sheet strength, strong cash generation capability and resilient core markets will sustain a progressive dividend stream, with full-year dividend growth of 14.3%. The cornerstone of our strategy is maintaining strong domestic brand market combinations. FY2014 marked continued progress towards this objective with the development of a customer-focused, multi-beverage model in Scotland and Ireland. This includes an expanded and well-invested brand portfolio and enhanced sales force capability. In Scotland we are pleased with progress on Caledonia and Heverlee and in Ireland we are optimistic on the prospects for our new Irish lager, Clonmel 1650. Macro conditions in Ireland and the UK are gradually improving and our businesses are well positioned to benefit from improved consumer sentiment in these key markets. In the UK, the broader cider market remains competitive and commoditised. We are focused on building a portfolio of authentic, traditional high quality ciders targeting the premium, and craft segments of the market.”
Nearly half of British men drink red wine when at home or a friend’s house: Nearly half – 46% – of men drank red wine between December 2013 and February 2014 when they were at home or at a friend’s house, according to research from the Wilson Drinks Report. Slightly more, 48%, of women drank white wine over the same period. The results are in the latest edition of WDR, which also includes new on-trade market data from Matthew Clark and the first results of a new project set up by WDR to analyse the sales data from a number of leading specialist online wine retailers. Tim Wilson, managing director of WDR, said: “We know how important red wine is as a part of the take home category, ranging from 15% of the total off trade market to about 39% of total online sales of beer, wines and spirits. Our new research confirms the extent to which red wine forms a key part of the typical drinking repertoire of British adult men. It’s a similar story for the role of white wine in the drinking repertoire of British women, with 48% of women saying that they drank white wine over a three-month period.”

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