THIS summer is the ideal time for operators to kick-start a simple three-step plan and unlock the “huge” sales opportunity premium drinks brands offer.
That’s the advice from drinks giant Pernod Ricard, which has launched a five-year ‘blueprint’ designed to help licensees grow sales of premium wine and spirits – predicting it could add more than £2.5 billion in sales to the UK on-trade by 2020.
The firm, whose brands include Beefeater gin, Absolut vodka, rum brand Havana Club, GH Mumm Champagne and wine brand Jacob’s Creek, said sales of premium spirits alone are already growing at 12% year-on-year in value terms in the UK’s pubs and bars.
And it reckons operators who follow three simple steps could “unlock new sales opportunities during an event-packed summer, and beyond”.
Firstly, licensees should focus on social media and engagement. Figures quoted in the Pernod Ricard report indicate that three out of four drinkers wish to try something new and 28% are keen to engage with pubs and bars on social media – so utilising social media is key to keep customers informed of an outlet’s seasonal drinks and summer serves.
Secondly, Pernod Ricard advises licensees to ensure that more than just a product is sold.
The firm said that by selling ‘experiences’, bars and pubs can boost sales, adding that the on-trade is the “perfect place to create sharable and creative ways to bring people together and drive sales”.
Finally, the drinks firm said operators should get involved in the key events and major sporting activity this summer to attract customers.
By capitalising on events such as Euro 2016, offering cocktails and matching the food and drinks offer to events – such as strawberries and cream with Champagne during Wimbledon, Pernod Ricard said licensees can reap the rewards.
“Summer is all about driving sales through key occasions and truly understanding how people are interacting with the on-trade, and by following these insight-led steps, we believe we can get our five-year ambition for retailers off to a flying start,” said commercial director Chris Ellis.
“I would urge all retailers to join us in continuing to grow premium wine and spirits ahead of the market.”