|Tesco's Dan Jago takes on global wine role|
|Written by Gemma McKenna|
|Thursday, 06 December 2012 14:50|
The UK wine industry is facing "seismic change", says Dan Jago, the man now charged with spearheading Tesco's overall global wine strategy.
Speaking exclusively to Harpers, Jago, the new group wine director, warned that the trade's failure to engage consumers and talk to them convincingly about why they might pay more for wine, could lead people to stop buying it altogether.
He warned the UK's current supply base is "clearly not entirely secure" and agencies and importers unwilling to change risk falling by the wayside.
Speaking about what has changed in the industry in recent times, Jago criticised the lack of strong brands emerging. But he said making the levels of returns in wine that would allow firms to create and market strong brands – without having to take money from outside the product cost structure – made this a challenge. "The best ones are those where they've been consistent, sustainable and true to their core – such as Villa Maria and many others," he said.
He stressed the importance of drawing staff from a variety of backgrounds so they can combine wine expertise with FMCG retailing experience.
"None of my category managers in the time I've been here have been from a wine background, and that's really important – so one of the senior members of the team stands above it and says objectively, ‘that's all very well from a wine perspective, but actually is it the right thing for customers or the business?'.
"Having someone from outside the slightly myopic world of wine is important to get a longer-distance view," he said.
Overall, Jago underlined his commitment to the drinks industry. "I regard myself as part of the wine industry as well as a grocer. While having been tempted a lot within this business and others to be a generalist, and move outside the specialisation of the alcoholic drinks world, I'm too engaged in it to ever really want to leave it," he said.
To read Harpers exclusive in-depth interview with Dan Jago, see this week's issue.