Foods and Wines from Spain celebrated its annual Eat Spain, Drink Spain campaign for 2022 from 15-30 November 2022, bringing together almost 60 food retailers, wine merchants, restaurants, bars and more from around the UK to participate in one-off promotions and create menus highlighting hero products from the Spanish gastronomic, viticultural and culinary industries.
Eat Spain, Drink Spain is an annual event that aims to shine a light on the quality and diversity of Spanish food and wines, partnering with UK-based venues for activations targeted at both trade and consumer audiences. With a diverse range of events and a huge range of premium food and wines for retailers to showcase, the fortnight was full of exciting line-ups from the food and winemaking industries. Merchants and retailers aimed to take consumers and trade professionals on a journey across Spain’s regions through their unique and characterful products, from wines to distinctive Spanish cheeses, charcuterie and more.
Highlights from this year’s campaign included fine wine merchants from around the length and breadth of the UK including York Wines in York, Old Chapel Cellars in Truro, and Argyll Vintners in Scotland, who created special promotions to acquaint customers with wine styles unique to Spanish winemaking, from dry and sweet sherries to wines from unsung regions of the country. And for many, the Eat Spain, Drink Spain campaign represented the chance to get consumers more excited than ever about new and undiscovered products thanks to hands-on sampling, especially when it comes to wine.
“We introduced people to new regions such as Priorat, Terra Alta and Ribera del Duero and Rueda,” said Simon Hill of Artisan Wine & Spirit Co in Salisbury. “During the tasting events, we poured samples for more than 180 people.” Elsewhere, merchants including Symposium in Bow, London, The Boutique Bottleshop in Edinburgh and Alexander Hadleigh in Locks Heath reported an increase in sales of Spanish wines thanks to activity across the fortnight and Eat Spain, Drink Spain information and collateral on bottles and around POS stations.
In Huddersfield, meanwhile, Hoults Wine Merchant put a distinctly Spanish twist on an annual wine tasting for guests. “We took a more focused approach than a large-scale wine tasting, and more importantly an order sheet in front of them featuring every wine they are tasting,” said founder Rob Hoult. “For the Spanish flight we included some very special offers to incentivise sales and it certainly worked. Over the four nights we sold 237 bottles of the Spanish wines, which is impressive as we only allow 18 customers per evening. The use of food and wine matching along with the POS that was sent meant that the Spanish flight outperformed the other 16 wines in the tasting considerably.”
Away from wines, many Spanish-inspired delis and restaurants aimed to take advantage of the increased interest from consumers around the Eat Spain, Drink Spain campaign and foreground Spanish food products and dishes. Grate Newcastle saw an increase in sales of Manchego cheese during promotions celebrating cheeses from across the country, Grupo 44’s cava and croquetas promotion across the group resulted in significant interest and sales, while Ultracomida in Aberystwyth ran evenings that paired great Spanish food products with sherries and vermouths.
“This was a great opportunity to talk to customers about the different food and wine that Spain has to offer, in particular to discuss and taste food and wine that are less well known,” says Shumana Palit of Ultracomida. “The Teruel ham was probably one of our biggest successes as customers realised how delicious it is. We had full attendance to all four of our wine and food pairing nights with a waiting list for both, so next year we’re planning to look at hiring a larger venue to open up the event to more people.”
Education, from venues and partners to both consumers and the trade has always been central to the Eat Spain Drink Spain campaign, and this year saw venues including Good Brothers Wine Bar in Edinburgh and Fourth and Church in Brighton making use of digital platforms including e-newsletters and video-led webinars to further acquaint their customers and partners with Spanish products, wines, sherries and fortified wines.