Wholesaler events are back on the calendar

Tennents trade show Scotland On Tap

Glasgow hosts three supplier showcases as in-person trade events return in strength

SUPPLIER events came back in a big way in recent weeks with wholesalers Inverarity Morton, C&C Group and Dunns Food & Drinks all hosting showcase events in Glasgow in the space of a month.

Inverarity Morton’s Evolution event took place in Glasgow’s Platform venue in September, attended by around 500 visitors from across the Scottish hospitality industry.

Exhibitors held a wide range of brand activations on the day, with on-trade staff able to sample products from brands including Bacardi, Molson Coors, Glenfiddich, Glengoyne and William Grant & Sons.

Speaking to SLTN, commercial director Ian Cumming said the Evolution event is “really about the brands showing off how they engage with consumers”.

“The big thing we continually stress is that this is not a trade show,” said Cumming.

“We don’t take a single order on the day. It’s really about bringing the brand to life with the bartenders and the customers – so they can see that rum or that whisky or that tequila (and say) ‘oh right I see how they’re engaging with consumers and activating their brand.

How can I replicate that to provide a better service in my outlet?’

“That’s the real purpose of it. And I think that’s why the brand owners really get into it.”

In addition to dedicated brand areas and experiences, Evolution also saw bartenders from the east and west coasts participate in a ‘Tiki Cocktail War’.

A few weeks later, C&C Group took over Glasgow’s SWG3 venue for its Scotland On Tap event.

Around 50 brand owners showcased 1500 products at the show, across beer, wine and spirits, with exhibitors including Johnnie Walker, Tia Maria and Whyte & Mackay.

All three of C&C’s wholesale channels – Tennent’s, Matthew Clark and Bibendum – were represented.

Gillian Murray, on-trade sales director for C&C Group, told SLTN the response to the event exceeded expectations.

“We didn’t know what the customer perception was about events,” said Murray.

“Was it going to be the same as 2019? But it’s exceeded our expectations. We had 150 customers in the first 35 minutes. They were literally queueing up outside.”

She added that the event was about providing support to pub and bar operators through a range of deals available to attendees.

“Everybody’s got the same issues and the same challenges, whether you’ve got the one outlet or 50,” she said. “So they’re getting the same deals.”

The show also included a raffle for licensed trade charity The Ben.

And the trade returned to Platform again in late October for the Dunns Food & Drinks Discovery event.

Showcasing a range of food and drink products from across Scotland and further afield, Discovery included names such as Harris Gin, Panther Milk and Novar Scottish cider.

Dunns operations director, Julie Dunn, said the company “challenged suppliers to really think about what they’re bringing to the sector in terms of new product development”.

“As you’d expect, we’ve had a brilliant response, particularly from local producers, many of which have launched during lockdown, and we’ve been very keen to support them,” said Dunn.

Heverlee stand at the Tennent's trade show
Inverarity Morton’s Evolution and C&C Group’s Scotland On Tap shows both took place in Glasgow, at the Platform and SWG3 venues respectively.