Each year the IWSC recognises individual brands, awarding gold, silver and bronze medals to spirits at its annual Spirits Awards. Looking beyond the tastings, the IWSC also recognises the creativity of the companies bringing these drinks to the customer. The businesses that import or distribute these bottles are distinguished by our Business Awards.
The IWSC Spirits Supermarket of the Year accolade was created to recognise the supermarkets innovating and adapting to a rapidly changing market as well as excelling in communicating its offer to its customers.
The judging panel comprised of the IWSC’s Industry Champion, Richard Seale, regular IWSC judges Joel Harrison, Ivan Dixon and David T Smith and from the IWSC, Sam Cooklin-Smith.
Our judges felt that Aldi were very deserving of their place in this shortlist, risktakers and turning things on their head, Aldi is bringing a great offer of quality spirits at an affordable price to its customers.
2022 was a big year for Aldi, bolstering the range throughut the year with a further 90 SKUs, including a mix of trials, seasonal lines and online exclusives.
After seeing a resurgence in demand for RTD, Aldi has worked with Pritesh Mody to launch a new ready to pour cocktail range. The huge growth in the flavoured vodka market meant Aldi launched two new SKUs and saw sales in the category soar over 48%.
As well as driving taste innovation in traditional categories, they have also continued to build on the size of the 0% spirits range, most recently launching a Haysmith’s 0% Raspberry & Redcurrant Gin at the start of 2023.
Appealing to a very different audience with a very different spirits offer Waitrose has launched 88 new spirits lines in the past year.
This has included launching products to fulfil growing consumer trends for more complex flavours and increasing demand for products focussing on sustainability. Tequila has also been a big growth area for Waitrose over the past year, sales have doubled (up 116%) following range expansion including Dobel , Patron and the super-premium Herradura Suprema Extra Anejo.
This year the trend for ‘mindful drinking’ gathered pace with customers becoming increasingly discerning and focussing on a more premium offering as they drink less but better.
Finally, showcasing a real understanding of their target customer and an ability to engage with the effectively, bolstering its communication channels already including magazines, in-store wine tastings and the Waitrose Food & Drink Festival, in the past year Waitrose has launched its new podcast, Dish.
Our winner for Spirits Supermarket of the Year will be announced at 13.00 on Friday 3 March.