On the telly, exposing supermarket illusory price promotions

So on Friday, while I was still in Cape Town, the episode of Rip Off Britain that I took part in aired. If you have access to the BBC iPlayer, you can catch up with the show online until the end of next week (28 March). The wine segment is in two parts: the first […]

More on supermarket fake half price wine deals

Good to see supermarket fake half price deals coming in for some stick in the national press. The Telegraph have an article about it, titled Beware supermarket wine bargains.

Most of the major supermarkets have these ‘tactical brands’ (or ‘trade drivers’) as part of their portfolio. They are priced, say, at £10, but are on regular […]

Are the fake half-price wine deals returning?

A few years back wine writers in the UK campaigned against the fake half-price supermarket wine deals. I even did some filming for Rip Off Britain where we went undercover to a few supermarkets to expose this rather dishonest practice.

Using price reductions to promote products is nothing new. Some industries – such as kitchens and […]

Sainsbury's ends fake 'half price' wine offers, for now

For more than three years I have been complaining about the fake half price wine offers in supermarkets. See here, here and here. What’s wrong with a deal? Nothing, it’s just that these deals are illusory. The wines – known in the trade as tactical brands or trade drivers – are designed with discounting in […]

Supermarkets, convergence and market disruption

I have a couple of related questions. First, people love shopping in supermarkets. Why?

Trust – a supermarket brand is trusted by shoppers. They supermarket name is big enough and famous enough and familiar enough to inspire trust. The shopper trusts the supermarket to price its products fairly, and for its produce to be safe – […]

Competition, price and why cheap wine will never be profitable


Have you ever tried to buy a mobile phone on contract? Or choose an energy supplier? The pricing structure is deliberately complicated, making direct comparisons incredibly difficult. And the various suppliers NEVER compete on price.

This is, from their perspective, a sensible choice.

As soon as one player comes in with simple, understandable pricing, and begins to […]

Supermarket wine buyers: how are they doing?

When I started out drinking wine, supermarket wine ranges were extremely variable. There were some terrible wines: wines that made you gag. As a student, and thus a bottom-feeder, the challenge was to find something cheap and drinkable. It was hard.

Then, as I got to know a little about wine, I started buying more expensive […]

I hate half-price wines and would like to see the back of them

I hate half-price wines.

Of course, there’s nothing new about discounting being used to sell wine.
Many wine brands are priced with a view to being promoted. The wine might be listed at £6.99 and two or three times a year be discounted to £4.99.

Typically, the producer will agree to fund some or all of this promotion, […]

The £6 Orange Natural Wine

Cramele Recas is a large winery in Romania well known for its astutely made commercial wines. Last year they began making an affordable orange wine, and this, the second vintage, is on the shelf at £6 in Asda (a UK supermarket). It spends 20 days on skins, and has no added sulfites.

I’m impressed by it, […]

Wine should never be cheap

I recently made a post on Twitter:

What I have learned from my travels: wine should never be cheap

Although it has picked up more than 130 likes, it also caused some controversy. One well known American critic replied, ‘Completely f***ing wrong.’ I was a little surprised by this.

But I think it’s in response to a misunderstanding. […]