THE Big Night In is big and getting bigger according to drinks giant Diageo. Quoting findings from recent years from HIM Research, from Nielsen and from a global online survey of consumer confidence, the firm said “Party-time occasions, including up-tempo nights and celebrations, are in 11% growth.
And it says spirits have the highest share of consumption in all party-time occasions at 33%.
But Big Night In events are not just about high-tempo occasions. Some 46% of trips to buy spirits are for what the firm calls “relax and unwind’”occasions and 35% are for “casual get-togethers”.
Diageo GB head of off-trade category development, Paul Isherwood, said research also showed that convenience shoppers were keen to see more premium spirits in c-stores.
He suggested there is substantial interest in making cocktails at home and retailers should make life easier for shoppers by grouping cocktail ingredients together and suggesting simple ideas for mixed drinks and cocktails.
He also reckons retailers could boost Big Night In drinks sales by making more of fractional sizes of spirits, by making more of premium spirits, which he sees as important to celebratory occasions, and by stocking flavoured spirits.
• But not everyone agrees that premium lines are likely to lead sales. Post-referendum economic uncertainty and the simple fact that people will begin to save for Christmas round about now will ensure people frequently choose staying in over going out for drinks and will look for very good value, reckons Amy Ledger, marketing manager of Continental Wine & Food.
“The cash & carry and independent sector has become more aggressive and competitive with its promotions on wines, therefore consumers no longer see independent retailers as the ‘expensive alternatives to supermarkets’ and are more likely to impulse-buy wine when shopping for the Big Night In,” she said.
And consumers will purchase according to the kind of Big Night In they are planning, she added.
Light wine such as CWF’s Straw Hat will appeal for girls’ nights in, Its 8% ABV British wine Silver Bay and new Silver Bay Fruit Flavours provide a lower-in-alcohol option. Italian fizz Prosecco continues to storm ahead though prices are rising, she warned.