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ALDI's Jason Bowyer on the secret to its liquor success

ALDI's Jason Bowyer on the secret to its liquor success

Jason Bowyer, Buying Director for Wines and Sparkling at ALDI, discusses value, innovation, passion and future trends with drinks bulletin.

We know that ALDI wines are cheap and win multiple awards, but Jason Bowyer says the hidden secret to its success is passion.

“The golden rule we work on is that a $10 wine at ALDI should drink like a standard $20-25 wine to ensure the customer always gets a good experience.

“It’s got to have a purpose and passion, a belief that you are doing the right thing,” says Bowyer.

Bowyer also believes exclusivity and quality over quantity are key values to ensuring ALDI stays on top of its game.

“Like ALDI’s grocery offer, our liquor range is tight and focused, ensuring that we offer great value. Our range comprises of a large number of items exclusive to ALDI, including award-winning products, which are not on the shelves of other liquor outlets,” he explains.

Indeed, ALDI wines are multi-award winning for both exceptional taste and value, having most recently won gold for its $6.99 One Road Shiraz, and double gold at the Melbourne International Wine competition earlier this year.

“At the 2017 Great Australian Shiraz Challenge, ALDI’s One Road South Australian Heathcote Shiraz 2016 won gold. Its $6.99 retail highlights just how serious we are about driving quality, value at clear point of difference to our competitors.”

ALDI Australia compared to global ALDI stores: climate is key for stock choices

ALDI UK has been getting into the silly season spirit with salted-caramel flavoured vodka, and chocolate wine, but don't expect to see them in Australia any time soon.

ALDI operates in a number of countries, in which varying products are sold in each market based on seasonality," Bowyer says. "For the time of year, chocolate wine is better suited to the current UK climate and in Australia during our winter.”

“At this stage, chocolate wine will not be available in Australian ALDI stores, however we are constantly listening to our customers feedback and suggestions and will consider selling this product next year.”

Jason Bowyer: "Hmmm, which one will i choose?" Source: Linkedin.

What’s in store for ALDI wines this summer?

This summer, ALDI is upping its game, with refreshment as a key beverage priority.

“While ALDI Australia may not be selling chocolate wine, there is an extensive range of high quality and affordable liquor on offer over the festive season that does better suit our climate.

“This includes magnums of Prosecco, summer packs of sangria, celebratory sparkling offers, rosé’s from around the globe and an incredible three pack of gold medal winning Bordeaux red wines in a timber display gift pack,” he says.

Bowyer discusses how lighter-styled wine sales are flourishing, stating: "We definitely see a trend to lighter and softer wines in both red and white categories."

“Rosé wine sales have become popular in both the local and imported categories. Prosecco continues to drive category growth, as does sparkling wine. Consumers are definitely keen to experiment and explore new varietals and we have many new surprises planned for 2018.

“Whether it is Pinot Grigio from Italy, white Bordeaux or Blanquette De Limoux from France, our goal is to offer new and interesting wines that reflect styles that consumers like to drink.

“We encourage shoppers to keep their eye out in catalogue and online to see what exciting liquor products will be released over the Christmas period,” Mr Bowyer adds.

Advice to suppliers and brands wishing to stock at ALDI

Bowyer explains that the key to supplier/retailer relationships at ALDI is about "passion for awesome quality."

“At ALDI Australia, we are fortunate to partner with many high calibre Australian and international wine suppliers to set specifications and develop creative new product ideas within each category, modifying year on year to ensure we remain relevant," says Bowyer.

“We have built strong relationships with these suppliers who are committed to ensuring that our wine products offer high value at their respective price points. For new suppliers, we ask that they share this passion and understanding.

“As a business, ALDI continues its commitment to building long-term, sustainable relationships with our suppliers, so this does not change,” he shares. 

Maximising the in-store experience

When asked whether ALDI Australia plans to develop an online shopping component and get on the alcohol delivery bandwagon, Bowyer explains the prioritisation of maximising ALDI’s in-store customer experience.

“ALDI Australia’s success stems from the quality of our products, a passion for low prices and a desire to keep operations simple,” he says.

“We constantly review our business operations and processes to ensure we continue to deliver exceptional value to our customers. This includes eliminating many of the costly extras associated with traditional supermarkets.

“For this reason, we have no current plans to establish an online offering or home delivery service in Australia. This enables us to focus on creating the best possible in-store experience, while continuing to deliver high-quality products at permanently low prices.” 

ALDI on innovation

Bowyer has a final message about the future of beverages and the need for innovation …

“We believe that consumers are demanding greater choice and innovation in their drinks. We can already see changes in the industry with a move from traditional beverages to products such as chocolate wine, pink gin and blue Prosecco.”