Kingsland's high spirits
posted by: M.E.N - Tuesday 2nd March, 2010
An Irlam wine and spirits company is brewing up expansion plans including a £1m investment in new equipment as it looks to build up its own brand products and further establish itself in new sectors.
Diversification is key for Irlam-based Kingsland Wines and Spirits as it seeks to grow the success of its own range of 20 products, which has grown to around 15 per cent of total production over the last five years.
Its core business is supplying own-label wines for retailers including Tesco and Co-op.
The company will invest £1m on new plant and equipment this year to expand its capacity and allow new types of drinks to be produced, including carbonated wine.
A key area for the business in 2010 will be its independent division, which was launched 12 months ago.
It supplies Kingland’s own-label products to smaller chains of retailers and the hospitality industry, with clients including JW Lees and Thwaites pubs.
Managing director Andy Sagar said: “Independent buyers are responding to us. We have won 40 new customers in the last year and it is not an easy market to break into.”
The firm is also looking to build its spirits business, which currently makes up 3pc of turnover.
Mr Sagar said: “The wine market has historically seen about 5pc annual growth, but this has flattened out to around 2pc in the last couple of years.”
Kingsland is also making inroads into the travel sector, producing small single-serving bottles for sale on airlines including BMI, EasyJet, Jet2.com and, most recently, Etihad.
Turnover in 2009 was £141m, up from around £121m the year before.
Kingsland was formed in its current incarnation by a management buyout in 2004 and has grown its volume by 70pc to 70m litres a year since.
It has 300 staff at its 14 hectare site alongside the Manchester Ship Canal, which is used to transport wine from Liverpool docks to the bottling plant, a former Co-op manufacturing site.
Kingsland’s wine generally comes from ‘new world’ countries including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, America, Chile and Argentina. Most of the wines sell at retail for under £6 a bottle.
Around 97pc of Kingsland’s business is wine rather than spirits and it boast of being able to provide a ‘vine to shelf’ service, sourcing wine from suppliers across the world.shipping it to the UK, bottling it, delivering it and selling it.
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