Shropshire firm's water sales sparkle despite poor summer weather

The summer washout failed to put a dampener on sales of premium water brand Wenlock Spring, the company has said.

Matthew Orme (left), Director, and Stephen Tuck, Sales Manager, with the award.
Matthew Orme (left), Director, and Stephen Tuck, Sales Manager, with the award.

The firm, which specialises in the hospitality and retail sectors, said sales had been positive across the board, helped by a host of new customer wins this year.

It comes despite this summer's heavy rainfall turning trade for many businesses into a damp squib.

Matthew Orme, director at Wenlock Spring, said: "Last July and August we were rammed and had to work incredibly hard to keep up with demand, as we had a very hot summer. Obviously, the weather this summer has been very disappointing, but sales have remained strong.

"We have won a lot of new business this year, including in wholesale, which has kept sales up and we remain in strong growth across the board. I think we’ll see the true impact of our new customers, in terms of sales, later this year.”

Matthew said demand for its premium water always picks up in the summer months, which the company remains well prepared for.

“When the sun is shining, demand just goes through the roof,” he said. “Travel and construction sectors are particularly demanding as the temperature soars, and they need to be confident that their orders will arrive in full on time.

“We have an amazing operations team here which prides itself on not letting customers down. They ensure that all stock levels are maintained, in line with customers forecasts throughout the peaks in demand."

A late summer mini heatwave in the first week of September saw Wenlock Spring sell over 1,000 bottles of water in a single day at the Ludlow Food Festival, for which they were one of the sponsors.

“We sold over 1,000 bottles of water on the Saturday, which was excellent. We were delighted to help keep visitors hydrated over the course of what was a fabulous weekend,” Matthew said.

The company also launched its new returnable, refillable service for its 750ml glass bottles at the event.

Through its partnerships with Milk & More and Again, Wenlock Spring’s still and sparkling glass bottles can be collected from customer’s doorsteps, sorted, cleaned and dried before being returned to its bottling plant for refilling.

Matthew added: “There was a really favourable response from visitors to our returnable bottles, which is really positive.

"People seem to understand why we are doing it," he said. "They realise that it makes more sense to reuse the bottles as many times as possible, rather than traditional recycling.

"Not that many years ago, every bottle behind a bar was returnable. It saves a massive amount of energy if we ‘Refresh, Return, Repeat’. This ‘throw away’ society has to change."

Wenlock Spring’s still and sparkling spring water is available in stylish glass PET and cans, with a pack size for every occasion and location.

The second generation family business is based at Wolverton, near Church Stretton, and its water is sourced from a protected historic spring, dating back to 1086 which is located near the famous Wenlock Edge.

The water filters naturally through the rock strata - giving it its unique blend of minerals, including calcium and selenium.

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