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More than 500 Co-op Members celebrated Malbec World Day by joining us at an exclusive online masterclass to learn more about our Argentinian reds.
When we checked in with members to find out how we could support their wellbeing during the pandemic, the majority told us they were looking for new ways to connect with others and learn something new.
So, working with our wine buyers, suppliers, and producers, we launched a series of online sessions where members could hear the inspiring stories behind some of our amazing wines and chat directly to our experts, and other members.
To mark Malbec World Day in April, members virtually met two of our winemakers – Sergio from Trapiche, who produce our Pure Malbec, and Alejandro from El Esteco, who produces the Don David Malbec.
Joining the live Zoom video call direct from sunny Argentina, the experts talked about what makes their wine special, how it’s made, and shared some serving suggestions and food pairing ideas too.
Co-op Members also had the opportunity to ask the experts their wine related questions during the hour-long session.
Members share their feedback
Having held similar events telling the stories behind our Fairtrade wines, White Port, Cava Brut, Spanish Garnacha, Rioja, and beers from social enterprises such as Toast and Brewgooder, we thought we’d check in with members to find out what they liked about the online sessions, and what we could do to improve them in the future.
Almost 300 members got involved to share their thoughts via an online survey.
An overwhelming 96% of members enjoyed the Malbec masterclass, telling us they found it easy to access, learned something new and would join a similar event in the future.
Here are just some of their comments:
“It’s amazing to think we were talking directly to Argentina and to see all the people introducing themselves from all around the UK in the chat.”
“It is always interesting to see the people behind the product and hear their special tips.”
“I really enjoy the format – the presentation, the expertise from the winegrowers and Co-op staff, and the Q&A at the end works very well. You can pick up a lot of information if that’s your thing, or just feel part of a community for a while.”
“The expertise of the producers is stimulating, and their enthusiasm is contagious. Co-op wine buyers do an excellent job sourcing real value and supporting the producers over the long term.”
“Really excellent and gave very good information but at a level ordinary wine drinkers can understand.”
However, some members struggled with the technology, found the online chat distracting, and the quick pace of the session difficult to follow.
“I’m not sure staring at all the attendees is really for me. I prefer a full screen when the presenters are presenting, it is easier to follow.”
“I would have liked the event to be a little longer – perhaps 90 minutes – to ensure that all questions could be asked and maybe a little longer presentation about some even more interesting facts from the wine producers.”
From extending the length of the online sessions and sending out food pairing ideas in advance, to incorporating a fun quiz into the event to test participants’ knowledge, members shared some great ideas of what we can do to make the online sessions even better.
Members told us they’d like to learn more about our Fizz, Rose, and Fairtrade products – including coffee and chocolate. A wine and cheese event is also on their wish list.
Our next steps
Members have given us some fantastic feedback and we now know so much more about the wines and other Co-op products they’d like to see featured. This insight will help us shape future online gatherings.
As a Fizz and Rose wine masterclass proved a popular request, we’ve listened, and members will now be able to discover the journey from grape to glass at an exclusive online masterclass on Thursday 26 August.
And we’ll be exploring and trialling some of the suggestions we’ve heard from members – including making the joining instructions as clear as possible, sending out an earlier reminder email with some food pairing ideas for those wanting the full experience, and directing members to their nearest Co-op store that stocks the featured wine.
We will trial extending the online session to 90 minutes so that we can answer more members’ questions, and we’ll ensure everyone knows how to navigate their way around Zoom so they can participate in their preferred way.
We will experiment with adding quick polls and quiz questions to bring a new fun element to the session and, following the event, we’ll make the video recording and presentation materials available to members too.
There are always ways for you to get involved with your Co-op. To sign up to the Fizz and Rose online masterclass, or to see what other opportunities are currently available, head to your member account now.
Member Participation and Engagement