By Rob Pickard
Wine is now a common sight in all manner of places, with sports venues, garden centres and nursing homes joining the usual cafes, bars, pubs, restaurants and hotels in embracing wine as a key part of their offering. One other surprising area for wine, which is currently experiencing a boom, is the direct selling aspect of the industry. Think Tupperware parties from days gone by, but with wine and spirits at its core.
Today’s take on this once legendary idea, now also commonly known as network marketing or party plan, offers informal wine tastings held within someone’s home. Here guests can taste wines, create cocktails and browse a range of high quality products all associated with entertaining at home; and one company which is leading the way is the award winning, Best in Glass.
The concept and brain child of established entrepreneur Susannah Schofield, Best in Glass was founded in 2010 and has been developed to utilise direct selling, what Susannah believes, is an untapped route to market for wines and spirits.
Having spent many years attending network marketing events Susannah identified a need for something new to be introduced to the market, an idea that would capture people’s attention and was a step away from the products already available. As a wine lover, Susannah wanted to be able to deliver wine tastings that would appeal to a broad audience, within an informal, party environment. Today Best in Glass hold parties and events all around the UK, demonstrating products, offering informal education and selling a range of drinks.
Best in Glass worked closely with Bibendum to produce a selection of wines that would work well for the Best in Glass concept, offering customers great examples of grape varieties and regional styles, across all price levels. The key aspect here is that the evening appeals to a broad audience, but also and most importantly, is not intimidating in any way.
From the start it was essental that Best in Glass staff would have a good level of knowledge on all areas of wine. Bibendum were able to offer the Wine Champions Training course to the directors and senior sales managers to aid their knowledge, with the course providing not just the basics of wine tasting, but also the skills needed to deliver the same level of training to those that will be working in customer facing roles.
With the wines and training support offered by Bibendum, Best in Glass have very quickly positioned themselves as the front runners in the direct selling industry, with ambitious growth plans for all areas of the UK through 2012, in an interesting sector of the UK drinks industry, and one with much potential.
I think you will agree, Best in Glass offers a really interesting concept. Bringing wine and spirit sales and education in informal settings to the masses!
To found out more about Best in Glass, check out their website.