Progressive Grocer

JAN 2017

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Category Management Beverages tion. is can't be a one-size-fits-all approach, as what works for one grocer may not for another. As for tools to aid in manag- ing the beer category, Burke notes that MillerCoors is leveraging several new ones alongside a blend of traditional and nontraditional research with its retailer partners. ese include virtual testing, receipt capture, in-store behavioral advances and geo-locating. A Balancing Act Much like beer, wine has both large-scale producers and smaller operators in the mix. "e challenge is to balance offerings from the larger corporate entities, as well as extremely small operations, which only make tiny amounts of wine," but can offer more exciting bottlings, says Scott At- kinson, wine consultant for Western Supermarkets, a Birmingham, Ala.-based independent chain that won "Best Wine Shop" in Birmingham magazine's 2016 Best of Birmingham awards. It's about balancing not just the big with the small, but also the old with the new. "ose values from the familiar Italy, Spain and France, as well as relative up-and-comers such as Portugal, South Africa, Greece and even Slovenia ... continue to engage the consumer," Atkinson says. Additionally, grocers are finding that they're having to work with suppliers to stock and promote sparkling wines more often during the year than just around holidays, as sparkling wine is now more of a year-round treat. And not just any sparkling wines: Atkinson stresses that his customers are getting more selective and savvy about the types of sparkling wines they want, pushing his company to widen selection in this segment. Sales of sparkling Prosecco wine have been climbing for a few years, The challenge is to balance offerings from the larger corporate entities, as well as extremely small operations." —Scott Atkinson, Western Supermarkets

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