Premium spirits account for 30% of all spirit sales in the grocery channel and this can grow to as much as 50% in the lead up to Christmas1. Value is still being lost, however, due to one-litre deals, which disrupt their mission to trade-up and their journey throughout the rest of the store.

To combat this and drive crucial sales at Christmas, Pernod Ricard UK is launching two campaigns focussed on helping retailers increase sales of Scotch whisky and popular cocktail and mixer ingredients: ‘Expertly Selected Whiskies’ and ‘Mix with The Good Stuff’.

The Campaigns

Christmas is the perfect time of year to drive purchases of Scotch whisky, with sales increasing 68% in the eight weeks leading up to the big day; as shoppers look to trade up and select the perfect gift. The ‘Expertly Selected’ range, identified by Pernod Ricard UK, includes five of the supplier’s top-performing premium Scotch whiskies: The Glenlivet Founders Reserve, Chivas Regal 12 YO, Scapa Skiren, Aberlour 12 YO and Ballantine’s Finest.

At the same time, demand for cocktails at home has increased 23%, with 22 million cocktail searches made online in the last year2. Pernod Ricard UK has therefore selected three simple cocktails, which are easy for shoppers to re-create at home using ingredients readily available in store. These are: The Espresso Martini, Jameson, Ginger & Lime and The Plymouth Pink G&T.

The campaigns have two important Christmas occasions in mind: gifting and entertaining at home. Retailers should begin ranging these products from early November to ensure maximum visibility throughout the season, ensuring they are front of the mind and store of choice when it comes to important purchases in the following weeks.

Chris Shead, Channel Director for Grocery at Pernod Ricard UK, comments: “Success within the ontrade, where premium accounts for 50% of all spirits sold during Christmas, tells us consumers are willing to spend more on premium spirits. In the eight-weeks before Christmas, premium share in grocery can match this, however, it’s important to use the season to kick-start a behaviour change that will encourage shoppers to continue buying premium all year round. Our message is simple: ignore premium this Christmas and you will miss out.

Chris continues, “Malt whisky experienced a strong uplift of 90% at Christmas last year, however, only 51% of shoppers have a brand in mind when they enter a store. So, we’ve created ‘Expertly Selected Whiskies’ to help them navigate between brands and pick the right whisky for the right occasion or recipient. The campaign calls out helpful flavour cues, ratings and reviews. This simplicity is matched in our ‘Mix with The Good Stuff’ campaign, which can be created using spirits most retailers already stock. Encouraging shoppers to buy a serve as opposed to a spirit will increase the number of items per basket in a simple and effective way, by inspiring them to purchase drinks to impress their family and friends.”

The Opportunity Both activations will be supported by PoS available to retailers from November and will inspire shoppers further on social media and through consumer advertising.

Top Tips for Success – Visibility: merchandise cocktail ingredients together, place premium spirits at eye-level and take advantage of our POS

1. Espresso Martini – Absolut, Kahlua and coffee.

2. Jameson, Ginger Ale and fresh lime.

3. The Plymouth G&T – Plymouth Gin, Fever Tree Aromatic Tonic and fresh lemon.

– Availability: adjust stock orders accordingly to allow for the sale of more bottles throughout November and December – Stocking the right range: ensure premium SKUs come to the forefront of displays as premium performs best at Christmas with value share rising from 30% to 50% of all spirit sales PoS for both campaigns is available upon request, retailers can prepare for Christmas by ordering today by calling 07979 396 468.

1 All source: AC Nielsen Scantrack Total Coverage, Total Impulse 17.07.17

2 CGA Mixed Drinks Report Q1 2017

Pernod Ricard UK is part of Pernod Ricard, number two in wines and spirits with sales of €8,682m in 2015/2016. Created in 1975 by the merger of Ricard and Pernod, the Group has undergone sustained development, based on both organic growth and acquisitions: Seagram (2001), Allied Domecq (2005) and Vin&Sprit (2008).

Pernod Ricard holds one of the most prestigious brand portfolios in the sector, including 19 brands among the top 100 worldwide.


Twitter: @pernodricarduk

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