Lidl hires Tristan Stephenson to advise on spirits range
Lidl UK has appointed Tristan Stephenson to consult on its spirits range as the retailer looks to further strengthen sales in the category.
Working closely with the Lidl buying team, Stephenson will taste the range to advise on NPD, as well as providing tasting notes and cocktail recipes for new and existing products. His expertise and insight will also work as a guide for shoppers on which spirits are best suited to their preferences and the buying occasion.
The news follows Lidl’s wins at last month’s Drinks Retailing Awards where the retailer was named as Supermarket of the Year and Multiple Spirits Retailer of the Year. These came on top of Lidl’s 2016 awards success, when it scooped the Spirits Supermarket of the Year at the International Spirits Challenge for the second year running.
Also known as the Curious Bartender, Stephenson is known for his work as a bartender and author, having worked at top London hotels The Connaught, The Dorchester and The Ritz. His most recent self-opened City bar, Whistling Shop, has featured in the World’s Fifty Best Bars for the last three years. He has also released two drinks books under the title of ‘Curious Bartender’, one of which was an Evening Standard bestseller.
Lidl has seen strong sales growth within the category over recent years with its Artisan Hortus Gin having proved particularly popular over the Christmas period.
Stephenson said: “This is a really exciting time to be coming on board, and I look forward to working with the team to develop new and exciting liquids for the range – as well as offering advice to customers on what they should be buying, and for which occasions. I’ve been really impressed by the work of Lidl’s spirits buyers in recent years, and the resulting award wins are truly well-deserved.”
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