Pernod pushes for a premium Christmas

Pernod Ricard UK has flagged up a host of data to show why on-trade outlets should encourage customers to trade up this Christmas.

Pernod Ricard UK PortfolioThe drinks group highlighted spirits as a particularly important festive category, citing CGA Strategy data to indicate that spirits accounted for one in three serves sold during the 2013 Christmas season.

This came as spirits enjoyed a festive uplift of 52 million serves in 2013 compared to an average month, with 48% of consumers who don’t usually buy into this category making an exception at Christmas.

As owner of the Perrier Jouët and Mumm brands, Pernod also stressed the opportunity for Champagne at this time, based on its own data which shows that 46% of total Champagne volumes are sold during the Christmas season.

Following a similar premium Christmas push by the group last year, Ian Peart, on-trade channel director for Pernod Ricard UK, said: “These figures support the trend for the enduring popularity of the festive ‘Big Night Out’, with consumers willing to trade up and spend more when they are out.”

Drawing on CGA data again, he continued: “As a nation, three quarters of us made at least one visit to a bar, pub, club or restaurant last Christmas, resulting in a total of 150 million visits to an on-trade establishment, so with consumers showing a huge desire to trade up to premium drinks during this key period, there is a big opportunity for those on-trade retailers who are able to capitalise on this growing trend.”

Among its recommendations for on-trade outlets looking to increase premium drink sales, Pernod picked out “clear opportunities” in food matching, whether aperitifs, with the main meal, puddings or digestifs. It also suggested sharing pitchers for groups or offering a cocktail to people as an alternative to pudding, thereby generating a higher profit margin.

Noting that “rosé Champagne enjoys particular success during the festive season”, Pernod stressed the importance for venues of offering an option by the glass.

The group will also be sending its brand ambassadors to train and advise customers who want to inject excitement into their cocktail list or put together cocktail masterclasses.

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