The study, conducted in conjunction with UK supermarkets M&S and Co-op, was designed to gauge customer reaction to wines displaying medal stickers. During a four-week period in December the IWC’s gold, silver, bronze and commended stickers were applied to more than 100 award-winning wines carried by the two retailers. The results were compared with control stores of a similar size, location, range, and shopper demographics.
The results showed a strong customer bias in favour of the stickers. Sales of Co-op’s gold medal winners grew by 200% where the stickers were applied, whilst the retailer’s IWC Great Value winner saw an increase of 476%. The overall increase across all stickers when combined – gold, silver, bronze and commended – was 24.1%.
M&S saw a 117.3% jump in sales of wine with gold stickers, while one silver medal winner increased sales by an incredible 700% during the period.
Top-performers at the M&S test store were:
- +700% – Kendal Lodge Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Cabernet Franc 2016 from South Africa (IWC Silver)
- +364% – Champagne Delacourt Vintage Brut 2004 (IWC Gold)
- +300% – Soave Classico 2017 (IWC Commended)
- +279% – Côtes du Rhône 2016 (IWC Bronze)
- +153% – Vintage Port 2007 (IWC Gold)
- +81% – Chablis Domaine Pierre de Prehy 2016 (IWC Gold)
Top-performers at the Co-op test store were:
- +467% – Co-op Irresistible Gavi del Comune di Gavi (IWC Silver and Great Value winner)
- +460% – Co-op Irresistible Explorers Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016 (IWC Silver)
- +350% – Co-op Irresistible St Gabriel Viognier 2017 (IWC Silver)
- +266% – Co-op Irresistible South African Chenin Blanc (IWC Bronze)
- +200% – Piper-Heidsieck Cuvée Brut (IWC Gold)
'They make a significant influence on their purchases'Sarah Benson, the Co-op’s wine buyer (Commercial BWS, Impulse and Kiosk), said: “We have seen very positive results which would suggest that customers recognise the IWC medal stickers and they make a significant influence on their purchases.”
Elizabeth Kelly, wine specialist, Marks & Spencer, commented: “We saw a great uplift on our wines following the IWC award stickering – especially at the gold and silver level. It was interesting to see the results across a range of price points; from our everyday favourite Côtes du Rhône seeing a 279% uplift, to our new house vintage Champagne, Delacourt 2004, which we were delighted won a gold medal – and sold 300% more than in comparable stores.”
These figures support earlier studies which have shown similar results for IWC medal winners – with both retailers and producers benefitting from the increased sales, reputational boost and demand.
The stickers are a crucial step in helping guide consumers at the point of sale – as Helen McGinn, author of The Knackered Mother’s Wine Club and IWC Panel Chair, comments: “It’s really hard to choose a wine when you go into a shop and you’re looking at a whole wall of bottles and a lot of them look fairly similar, you’ve only got a label to go on. An IWC medal is a really easy way just to signpost and help them make a decision when it comes to buying.”