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IWC stickers boost sales by up to 700%

Published:  06 February, 2019

Bottles of wine labelled with foil stickers awarded by the International Wine Challenge (IWC) can sell seven times more than an identical bottle of wine with no sticker, a study by the IWC has revealed.

The IWC spent four weeks monitoring sales at M&S and Co-op stores after applying gold, silver, bronze and commended wine medal stickers to over 100 bottles. It compared them to control stores of a similar size, location, range, and shopper demographics.

The results showed a “strong customer bias in favour of the stickers” said the IWC. Sales of Co-op’s gold medal winners grew by 200% when stickers were applied, whilst the retailer’s IWC Great Value Winner saw an increase of 476%. The combined overall increase across all stickers, including Gold, Silver, Bronze and Commended, was 24.1%.

One bottle - the silver medal winning Kendal Lodge Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2016 from South Africa - saw a 700% increase in sales at M&S.

“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,” said Helen McGinn, IWC panel chair. “An IWC medal is a really easy way just to signpost and help them make a decision when it comes to buying.”

Sarah Benson, Co-op wine buyer, said it was “really exciting to take part in this trial. 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 at M&S said it had seen 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 to have won a Gold medal – and sold 300% more than in comparable stores.”