03 November 2015, 12:01 PM
  • Adam Barber, Food Hall buyer at Fenwick Newcastle shares his stocking list for the recently-opened store
Fenwick’s Hot Drinks Picks

Tea
Our reliance on major tea brands is relatively limited; our customers tend to be looking for something a little more distinctive. Taylors of Harrogate is the entry-level tea brand that we sell which covers bagged and loose tea. The green tea range from Taylors proves particularly popular, however our biggest selling tea brand is Ringtons. The product and brand has real heritage in the North East and we are proud of the relationship we have built up with the supplier and the customers that come in week in week out to purchase it from Fenwick. Recent additions to the range include Brew Tea Company, Bloom, Choi Time and Kusmi which are all delivering growth in our loose tea category.

Coffee
Our coffee category, although a lot smaller, has a real loyal following and is predominantly regionally-focused. Pumphreys, Taylors of Harrogate and Lola’s are all loyal brands of our customers but the majority of our coffee sales come from local independent coffee roaster Ouseburn Coffee Company. OCC is a brand which we can rely on delivering outstanding quality as well as having an ethical sourcing policy. Launched a year ago, we have been overwhelmed by the demand for premium coffee from OCC and our customers love the fact that the coffee is roasted in small batch lots just a few miles away in the Ouseburn Valley. The partnership between our two companies continues as OCC will be opening a coffee bar concept in the refurbished Fenwick Food Hall from October. OCC will offer hot drinks to go as well as a dedicated grinding service, all backed up with the best coffee advice in town! We are looking forward to having them serve their amazing coffee every day for us.

Drinking Chocolate
Although still a small and seasonal segment, this category is experiencing huge growth for us right now. Our refreshed hot chocolate range will launch mid-October and will house premium chocolate brands such as Charbonnel et Walker, Prestat, La Molina and Artisan du Chocolat. Our top-selling hot chocolate is Hasslachers, a Columbian 100% Cacao gourmet drinking chocolate. The iconic and tactile design to the product catches the customer’s eye and drives trial of product.

Trends
Loose tea – we’ve noticed a continuing trend of tea drinkers switching from bagged tea to loose tea. Loose tea now takes up two thirds of our selling space for tea. Kusmi tea, a recent addition to our range is a brand we have high hopes for. The range consists of eight of Kusmi’s most celebrated blends as well as gifts and accessories. It’s one of the most premium brands we sell in the Food Hall, which we launched in response to our customers demanding a new level of quality in loose tea. It’s up to us as the retailer to educate and inform all of our customers on this concept.

Health – tea is a major destination for those aspiring to be healthy and our newly-launched brand, Bloom, is a sign that our customers are swaying towards the trend for health remedies in tea; in this case through matcha. Our Bloom matcha range has recently launched and contains seven different matcha blends, in comparison to a year ago when we were selling just one matcha product.

Cold brew coffee – this is performing extremely well despite only launching into our Food Hall earlier this year. At one point cold brew coffee was our number one-selling chilled drink. We now sell Point Blank and Minor Figures. We are also trialling a cold brew and tonic which is dividing opinion, and are planning to launch a cold brew coffee with almond milk.

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