Teamwork boosts Christmas spirits

Working with a single point of contact for a product range can be useful to operators


DEALING with a single drinks firm for a range of spirits is a “tremendous advantage” for operators as well as drinks companies, according to one of the country’s biggest drinks firms.

Pernod Ricard UK claims that dealing with a single brand representative across a number of different products can strengthen the relationship between operator and brand as well as making it easier to plan promotional activity for events such as Christmas.
Speaking to SLTN, Ian Peart, on-trade channel director at Pernod Ricard UK, said the company’s wide range of products means “whatever is going on we will have a brand that will fit that trend or that need”.

Whatever is going on we will have a brand that will fit that trend or need.

“It also works really well with our relationship with the trade as well, because we have a wide portfolio and we can work across different brands and put different promotions and menus together that have that breadth and depth, so [operators] can work with us across the majority of their spirits categories,” he said.
“We feel quite privileged that we have the portfolio that we have.”
Spirits, and premium spirits in particular, pose a significant opportunity for the trade this Christmas, according to Peart.
Research carried out by the firm found that 52 million spirits serves were sold in the on-trade over Christmas 2013, with spirits accounting for one in three drinks sold over the bar.
Additionally, the festive season sees a significant number of consumers experimenting with the category when they wouldn’t normally.
According to Pernod Ricard, 48% of consumers who wouldn’t normally drink spirits will do so over Christmas.
The company will be working with operators to promote serves for its own spirits portfolio, which includes Chivas, Havana Club and Malibu, ahead of the festive season this year.
But providing the right selection of drinks is only part of the answer.

We see a really big opportunity for spirits for any on-trade retailer at Christmas.

Making sure consumers are aware of the products and serves available in an outlet is also vital, said Peart.
“We see a really big opportunity for spirits for any on-trade retailer at Christmas,” he said.
“Three quarters of us will make a visit to a pub, bar or club at Christmas. That’s 150 million visits we’re predicting, all forecast for this year.
“But you need a decent range of spirits, and premium spirits is really where the growth is at the moment.
“Have a look at the menus, how it’s communicated in your outlet, and you do need to tell consumers what you’ve got and what offers you have.”
And working with one drinks rep across several products can provide an advantage when it comes to creating relevant signage and promotional material, said Peart.
“I think operators have obviously got to decide what are the best brands for their offer, but if they are working with a [single] supplier they get consistency in terms of the people they’re dealing with, but also consistency in promotional messaging and activation delivered across a number of brands,” he said.
“That’s what most operators want: to make it simple for their consumers.”