NEW YORK -- Sopexa/Food & Wines from France here has launched a series of Bordeaux promotions for supermarket wine stewards and managers on store level.
"A lot of chains have cut back on the shelf space they are allocating to wine, but others are expanding," said John Donovan, director of sales promotion for Sopexa, which calls its Bordeaux promotion "Appropos Bordeaux."
For A&P, Montvale, N.J., he said Sopexa held a luncheon for managers the week before A&P's Bordeaux promotion kicked off, on Oct. 1. That chain is using an in-store flyer and is conducting a display contest for its managers.
Harris Teeter, Matthews, N.C., kicked off the promotion, also on Oct. 1. Tastings are permitted in their Virginia stores, Donovan said, so the chain is doing tastings. "They are dynamic stores, very user-friendly, and the selection is unbelievable," he commented.
Treasure Island stores in Chicago are also taking part, along with D&W Food Centers, Grand Rapids, Mich., and Busch's, also in Michigan; Gelson's, in Los Angeles; Foodland, in Honolulu, Hawaii; and Giant Food Stores, Landover, Md., a part of Ahold USA.
"All these promotions involve the managers in the store. It's one thing to set up a promotion with buyers at headquarters, but we want to be sure the managers at store level know what's going on," Donovan told SN.
"That's why we do these luncheons, to get them involved. We are looking for accounts that are very promotion-oriented."
Most Bordeaux is a red wine, a blend of cabernet and merlot, but there is also white Bordeaux. "When most people think of Bordeaux, they think it is out of their price range. But most is under $20 and is quite affordable. The high end of the business is a very small percentage of the production," said Donovan.
"We like to get all the managers together and do a Bordeaux seminar over lunch. It keeps it top of mind for the managers and enables them to talk about the wine that they will be selling," Donovan said.
Food & Wines from France works for different clients, like Bordeaux, and Muscadet, from different regions of France.
This time, the Bordeaux program is branded and sold to importers. Sopexa then goes to the retailers with specific brands that the distributor wants them to carry. "It helps the importers get new distribution, or at least opens the door for the importer to introduce his product.
"In certain markets you can do in-store tastings, depending upon state or local law. We try to do as many as we can," said Donovan.