“A year to forget but one we will remember,” is a quote shared by Samuel Smith & Son’s Managing Director, recalls Midolo.
“Despite the industry’s challenges, it has been continually lifting to see our customers’ resilience and entrepreneurship during these eventful last 12 months,” said Midolo.
Like many others, Samuel Smith & Son adapted and reacted to the circumstances of the moment. The business’ 2L cask business boomed during the initial lockdown as retail shoppers stocked their pantries and for the first time in memory, their warehouses in the Barossa were cleaned out. The production team moved to 24-hour shift cycles to meet the instant demand.
All attention turned support trade partners in the on-premise space, whether through trading or product support for reopening.
“During these times, working collaboratively and collegially with our customers was a proud moment in our business and showed that we live our values of ‘Knowledge, Service & Friendship’,” said Midolo.
Since the beginning of the year, the business has continued to explore opportunities to drive and support their customers. Midolo cites the business’ new ‘Ultimate Wine Partner’ sales model through which the business services its customers in a way that supports them to grow.
He says, “Through our recent re-alignment to channel, our people have been outstanding in how they have met all the challenges thrown at them by the environment and we cannot thank them enough for their effort and commitment to the cause.”
Midolo predicts that the continued strength in the ‘good for me, good for the planet’ category will drive market growth, leading to lower alcohol wines, a demand from consumers for sustainable practices, and a decrease in sales volume but an increase in average sales value.
Digital transformation will be a key focus for the business this year as Samuel Smith & Son pursue their aspiration to be the wine ‘storytellers’ of the industry.
“Our brands’ stories are relevant and engaging for wine consumers as they search for brands they know and trust,” he said.