Red Label Wine short this Christmas
J Wray & Nephew blames supply chain issues for shortageSunday, December 05, 2021
Jamaicans baking christmas cakes this holiday season will find one of the main ingredients, Red Label Wine in short supply this year.
Cecil Smith Jr, senior director, commercial sales in Jamaica and the Caribbean at J Wray and Nephew confirmed the wine is short, putting the issue down to the global supply chain issues.
“We are in fact, like all other suppliers, having a shortage of the ingredients that we use to make Red Label wine so far. For the rest of the season we will continue to supply somewhere in the region of 40 per cent of the needs during this time of the year,” he explained to the Jamaica Observer.
Smith did not elaborate on Red Label Wine sales, but said, “About half of our annual volumes goes between October and December.”
Supply chain issues, which have been affecting every business, mean companies have various orders backed up on ports all over the world. It has resulted in the cost of shipping jumping significantly and is helping to stoke inflation in many countries.
Smith said the challenges have been affecting J Wray and Nephew's supply of “the glass, the tops, the labels” for Red Label Wine, which are imported chiefly from South America. The wine itself is made locally.
While acknowledging that the wine is an important ingredient for those baking during December to celebrate during the Christmas season, he asked consumers to bear with the company “because, unfortunately, the circumstances are out of our control”.
Smith added, “The container stockpiles at different ports are making it harder for goods to move [around the world] as freely as they usually do, especially at this time of the year.”
“Wray and Nephew is not the only one having these challenges, there are competing fruit wines or fortified wines [suppliers], as they are called, which are also experiencing the same supply challenges.”
Despite the shortage, Smith says the company recently released a batch of Red Label Wine to wholesalers and retailers to fill part of the demand gap.
He however said the supply situation should be resolved early next year.
“The demand declines sharply after the Christmas period, so coming back down to regular demand, Red Label Wine should return to normalcy as soon as the extremely high demand normalises. So, by about February, thereabout, we normally see a slowdown in demand and the supply should be fine by then.”
He said the company has, however, managed to stockpile other liquor brands for the Christmas and assures they will be available, including its Appleton and White Overproof rums.
“We've managed better than most during the period to keep all our popular brands on the shelf,” he said.