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Need of the hour: Sid Patel’s aim behind the London Competitions

24/11/2021

Sid Patel, CEO of Beverage Trade Network and London Competitions on the vision of London competitions.

If you are at a store looking to buy a spirit, beer, or wine for a dinner with the family, a group night in, or just a fun solo binge — how do you make your pick? Do you first look at what drink looks great, then find your eyes going to the MRP, followed by quick mental math to find what drink provides the most value for your money and for the occasion? The next time you should look for a label that would save you the hassle by ensuring you get a drink that is of great quality, packaging, and worth your spend. That label is of the London Drinks Competition.

What are the London Drinks Competitions?

Sid Patel, CEO of Beverage Trade Network and London Competitions explaining the vision of London competitions to judges in its first year.

The London Competitions have become increasingly popular in the trade over the last few years. Hosted by the Beverage Trade Network, three competitions — London Spirits Competition, London Beer Competition, and London Wine Competition — are held and judged simultaneously. These competitions are international in nature and put the consumer’s point of view central in their understanding of award-winning wine, beer, and spirit.

What is the vision for these competitions?

When Sid Patel, the founder of Beverage Trade Network was asked about the vision for these competitions, he shared how he saw a clear gap between what our industry loves and what the actual consumers love. The idea behind the launch of the London Drinks Competitions was to make awards more relevant and be closer to the end consumer and the way they reward their wines, spirits and beers. He achieved that by stepping into the shoes of a consumer shopping in a supermarket, as they shop by their eyes first, then the price and then the quality which most of the time is unknown before they taste the product.

Sid started his journey in the drinks business by creating his own wine brand Friday Monkey out of Australia.

What does the “award” look like?

Spirits scoring 65-75 are awarded the Bronze Medal, between 76-89 qualify for the Silver Medal, and scoring above 90 qualify for the Gold Medal and are considered for Special awards. Special awards at the London Spirits Competition are based on categories that include Spirit Of The Year, Vodka Of The Year, Rum Of The Year, Tequila Of The Year, Gin Of The Year, Whisky Of The Year, Distillery Of The Year, Best Spirit By Country, Best Spirit By Quality, Best Spirit By Value, and Best Spirit By Packaging. Special awards at the London Beer Competition are Beer Of The Year, Brewery Of The Year, Best Beer By Country, Best Beer By Quality, Best Beer By Value, and Best Beer By Packaging. Special awards at the London Wine Competition are awarded for Wine of the Year, Winery of the Year, Best in Show by Country, Best in Show by Varietal, Best Wine of The Year by Quality, Best Wine of The Year by Value, and Best Wine of The Year by Package.

What is the judging criteria for the award?

The goal is to help end consumers shop the spirits with confidence and pick the best product by quality, value and package.

An award winner at any of the three London Competition is generally a spirit or beer or wine that is of the highest quality, gives back a great value for money and is packaged in a way that it stands out on the shelves as well as on the back bar. Quality is judged based on Appearance, Aroma, Body, Taste, and Aftertaste. Packaging is scored on the basis of Creative design, label quality, label details, back-bar appeal, store shelf appeal, and functionality (including shape, size, weight, and ease of pouring). The value for money is ascertained based on the quality offered for the price. Essentially,
Q (Quality Score) + Value Score (V) + Package Score (P) = London Spirits Competition Score.

How does the award benefit a spirit, beer, or wine?

The awards can help bring credibility to the spirit, instill confidence amongst trade buyers, and allow to explore the scope of development based on the scores provided. While these are the primary benefits, the competition also provides opportunities to network and explore partnerships. Top 100 winners at all of the three London Competitions will be included in the Top 100 On-Premise & Off-Premise spirits list - Top 100 Spirits/Beers/Wines. The results of the awards are also shared with over 50,000+ trade professionals in the Beverage Trade Network community, and over 20000+ buyers in and around the UK.

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