Kingsland Drinks Group, the leading importer and supplier of wines and spirits, has announced two appointments to its insights team, with Michelle Wilkinson joining as category manager and Fiona McClure taking on the role of consumer and insights executive.
Both will form part of the company’s wider strategy to work with customers to unlock category growth and ensure that insights play a key role in developing the group’s product portfolio.
Wilkinson will be responsible for overseeing in-store and online category management and will play a pivotal role in developing the company’s growth strategy. Utilising insights, she will identify opportunities for Kingsland Drinks’ brands, partner producers and customers. She will also work collaboratively with key customers on strategic category initiatives and identify opportunities for them to grow sales with the goal of driving their business forward.
With over 20 years’ experience, she has held senior category management roles across range of sectors, including food, pharmaceuticals, health, and homewares.
Alongside the insights team, she will spur growth within multiple and independent retail and lead specific initiatives in online retail – a channel expected to grow significantly over the next decade as e-commerce and fast grocery delivery become more mainstream and command a bigger share of the category.
“I’m excited to be taking on this role and to be a part of such a talented and passionate team of people with great strengths and skills, and with such a strong range of products,” Wilkinson commented.
“The insights team is expanding and it’s a real honour to be part of this growth – and to be working on the innovative and creative projects coming soon. I love the company values, the team spirit, the focus on sustainability, the ambitious plans and of course, the brilliant wines and spirits in the portfolio.”
McClure will support Wilkinson and the wider team on market, category and shopper insight projects, while leading consumer insights initiatives as Kingsland Drinks expands its branded portfolio. She joins from Hallmark Cards where she held multiple roles across product, commercial and marketing over a 24-year period.
Both will report into Charles Overin, head of marketing, brand and insights, and will work alongside Jenna Burbidge, insights manager.
Overin said: “Michelle and Fiona join the company during a period of significant expansion and investment, and our strong insights team plays a key role in the immediate and future growth of the business.
“It’s brilliant to have people with their capabilities and experience joining the team at this prosperous time. They will be a great asset to us as we continue to strengthen our established product range and bolster our position in the marketplace as an own label and branded supplier.
“The drinks category is changing, consumer preferences are evolving, and we need to ensure we move with the times and that our business decisions, category and brand development, and NPD are grounded in insights. We believe that our focus in this area will deliver successful results and to keep us ahead of the game.
“It’s a competitive marketplace and we’re all facing a range of challenges – but we’re confident in our position and ready to take the business to the next level.”
Headquartered at Irlam Locks, Salford, Kingsland Drinks has over 100 global brands in its portfolio, including The Hidden Sea, Baron de Ley, Corte Molino and Campaneo. It services UK multiples, independent and convenience retailers and drinks stores, hospitality, wholesalers and cash and carries.