Pernod Ricard UK is investing £5m in the run up to Christmas and has urged retailers to give stronger visibility to premium brands over the festive period in order capitalise on the £15.5m opportunity in the off-trade.
The alcohol producer says the £5m campaign has two clear aims: to support the on-trade in creating great drinks, exciting experiences and knock-out festive menus, as well as giving back to those in need of an extra helping of conviviality this year, who do not have big groups of friends or family to celebrate with.
To drive awareness of its brands, it is increasing its above the line advertising spend by 37%, with campaigns going live from October for Jameson, Plymouth, The Glenlivet and Chivas. This contributes to an overall investment in the Christmas occasion of more than £5m – nearly 70% more than last year.
James Bremner, on-trade channel director for Pernod Ricard UK, comments: “2018 was a good year for the on-trade, however, we anticipate outlets will need to work harder this year to maintain sales and value growth. Our mission is to support our customers offer a quality premium drinks experience that will encourage people to come back to their outlet, stay longer and spend more.”
In the off-trade channel, the convenience sector increased its value share of premium spirits by just 3% in the last quarter of 2018, verses grocery’s growth of 8%, widening the gap and losing share during a crucial sales period.
Pernod Ricard is therefore recommending that within premium Spirits, there are five key categories should retailers focus on getting right: gin, irish whiskey, blended scotch, vodka and wine.
Chris Shead, off-trade channel director, adds: “It was a good Christmas for the convenience channel last year, however, it continued to fall behind grocery as retailers failed to maximise the premium spirits opportunity. The data all points towards a third gin-dominated Christmas this year, however, we also anticipate this year to be driven by gifting outside of traditional categories, such as gin and our new plymouth Gift Box, as well as lead-ingredients for popular cocktails and mixed drinks. That’s why we are investing significantly this year to encourage more moments of conviviality, to get consumers spending more time with family and friends, as well as more money in the convenience channel on premium wines and spirits.”