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An overview of the global liquor market sales in the past twenty years

Hi Julian, what do you do at Bibendum and how is a typical day at work for you?

Our customers include hotel, restaurant and pub groups, and I have a team of 18 outstanding sales and account managers whose ability to cultivate great client relationships allow us to be a company that people love dealing with. What do you like about your work and what do you find rather demanding? This will often lead to our business being recommended to other prospective customers, which is a healthy way to grow.

Because of the global nature of the products we deal with, travel is an essential part of the job. Whether it is a South American wine sourcing visit, a Sake educational trip to Japan or a corporate tour of Tuscany — visiting producers is a recurring feature of our calendar.

  1. We place our clients at the heart of all our initiatives. You have been working in the drinks industry for over 20 years.
  2. This is principally driven by consumers, with constantly evolving lifestyles, demands and expectations.
  3. As a business, we also have to embrace and refine our digital capability. Against a background of stagnant earnings and increased preoccupation on healthy lifestyle, consumers are choosing to treat themselves less often or, indeed, turning away altogether from alcoholic drinks - especially in the under 35s generation.

On the flip side, and also because of its global nature, wine is a very volatile commodity and is heavily influenced by agricultural, socio-political and macro-economic pressures. Droughts, fires, shipper strikes, Brexit and global financial tensions can all impact the market and our supply capabilities, which can undermine the stability of our service proposition.

You have been working in the drinks industry for over 20 years. What has changed over the time?

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The UK drinks market has become hugely competitive with ever-decreasing margins and operators continually looking for vibrant and exciting solutions, so you have to look from different perspectives that will give you a competitive edge.

At Bibendum we have invested in our proposition over the past 20 plus years by developing a unique methodology that is built around improving the value and revenue for our customers. All of this allows our customers to win in their respective markets. Has digital innovation modified customer relationship management in any way?

13 September, 2018

Digital innovation is a critical medium through which our customers communicate with their consumers. As a business, we also have to embrace and refine our digital capability. We place our clients at the heart of all our initiatives. Elsewhere - our marketing teams continue to develop innovative digital opportunities to communicate as effectively as possible with our customers.

Would you let us in on any major trends for the near future? There is constant innovation and development in our sector. This is principally driven by consumers, with constantly evolving lifestyles, demands and expectations.

Proliferation of artisan gins, locally-produced whiskies, rapid innovation in the soft drinks sector, delicious wines from China, Slovenia and Canada and unusual and wonderful beers from all corners of the world make the UK the most exciting place in the world to enjoy a drink — responsibly of course.

A perfect storm brewing in the global beer business

However, we also face a clear challenge for the UK drinks trade, since alcohol consumption is slowing down in the UK. Against a background of stagnant earnings and increased preoccupation on healthy lifestyle, consumers are choosing to treat themselves less often or, indeed, turning away altogether from alcoholic drinks - especially in the under 35s generation.

This all leads to a more positive strategy where quality is more important than quantity.

  1. At Bibendum we have invested in our proposition over the past 20 plus years by developing a unique methodology that is built around improving the value and revenue for our customers. Would you let us in on any major trends for the near future?
  2. Against a background of stagnant earnings and increased preoccupation on healthy lifestyle, consumers are choosing to treat themselves less often or, indeed, turning away altogether from alcoholic drinks - especially in the under 35s generation. What skills does a good Sales Manager need to have?
  3. Elsewhere - our marketing teams continue to develop innovative digital opportunities to communicate as effectively as possible with our customers. This will often lead to our business being recommended to other prospective customers, which is a healthy way to grow.
  4. What has changed over the time? At Bibendum we have invested in our proposition over the past 20 plus years by developing a unique methodology that is built around improving the value and revenue for our customers.
  5. Against a background of stagnant earnings and increased preoccupation on healthy lifestyle, consumers are choosing to treat themselves less often or, indeed, turning away altogether from alcoholic drinks - especially in the under 35s generation.

Although the consumer will continue to limit his or her frequency and volume of alcohol consumption, the thirst for variety, quality and innovation will continue to grow. We all know plastic straws are a big no no.

If your drink occasion need a straw, one should make it biodegradable! What skills does a good Sales Manager need to have?

A perfect storm brewing in the global beer business

Any advice for someone looking to pursue this career? In simple terms, be dependable, deliver on your promises, be bold, passionate and allow your personality - whatever it is - to shine through.

It is an industry where you can quickly rise up through the ranks and you will meet a galaxy of interesting people.