Drinks giant says premiums deliver

Premium spirits sales soar in the run-up to Christmas, especially in the final week before the big day itself, says Pernod Ricard, the firm behind Absolut, Chivas, Glenlivet, Jameson, Martell and other brands. C-stores could do more to cash in on demand for premium lines and for premium spirit gift-packs, it argues.

CONVENIENCE retailers who fail to get into festive premium spirits are missing a major sales opportunity, according to drinks firm Pernod Ricard UK.

Shoppers hunting for last-minute gifts or on their way to Christmas parties are often keen to buy premium products, it argues.
The firm says its research shows that premium spirits account for £1 in every £5 spent on spirits in the off-trade, but that share shoots up to £1 in every £4 during the festive period, and £1 in every £3 in the week before Christmas.
But, it claims those festive sales are going mainly to multiple grocers, because the majority of c-stores don’t have a good range of premium stock or gift sets on their shelves.
“With shoppers increasingly looking to trade up over the festive period, there is a great opportunity for retailers to seize the opportunity to match the success of premium spirits in grocery this Christmas,” said off-trade channel director Chris Shead.
“There have been great performances by premium wines and spirits over the last few years, but we believe there have still been missed sales opportunities.
“We would particularly urge retailers to seize the opportunity to grow sales of premium vodka and premium blended and malt Scotch whiskies, where we expect demand to be particularly high.”


The firm’s rules for success in spirits at Christmas, include:
• Meet the demand for trading up – more special occasions in homes take place at Christmas than at other times of year, when many consumers think of themselves as on show. Ensure availability of premium spirits to avoid missed sales opportunities.
• Make Christmas special – use seasonal POS and suggest special drinks for the festive period.
• Make it easy for the consumer – spirits are often stocked behind the counter, try to ensure they are easily seen to help shoppers reach a decision before the till point.
• Provide and highlight a wide range of premium spirits for hosts of parties and for party guests – Christmas is party time.
• Provide gift buyers with a good selection gift packs and make it even easier for shoppers by supplying gift bags.