The Co-op Group has been named off-trade retailer of the year at the annual British Beer and Pub Association Awards.
The awards evening, held at the Royal Winter Garden Hotel, Kensington, brought together business leaders in the brewing and pub sector, key industry stakeholders, as well as parliamentarians to celebrate the achievements of individuals and organisations in the market.
The Group, which beat competition from Waitrose and Spar, said the win highlights its commitment to becoming the leading retailer of beers, wines and spirits in the UK.
Simon Cairns, category trading manager for beer wine and spirits at the Group, said: “The team has been working exceptionally hard to bring new and exciting products to shelves and I couldn’t be prouder of them for winning this award.
“We take a real pride in making maximum use of beer space in stores to champion smaller brewers and a more interesting range for our customers to enjoy and are striving to do as much as is possible to build on beer occasions going forward.”
The Group is continuing its rollout of regional ranging throughout 2017 and says it has offered a “sustainable route to market solutions for smaller brewers, established a local ale range, supported microbreweries and sold 500,000+ more pints of British ale YoY”.
It added: “Local craft beers were introduced to stores in 2016 with the start of the local ranging programme, introducing small independent breweries to our stores in Yorkshire.
“Local ranging has had a huge increase in momentum throughout 2017 with multiple new region-specific ranges including the West Country, East Anglia and Wales.
“In addition, using member insight, the Co-op has ranged a number of products in this category which have been brought to market and specially developed by our members.”