Diageo wants convenience channel to ‘cash in on New Year drink sales’

Drinks giant Diageo, the company behind Smirnoff, Guinness, Gordon’s and Bailey’s, is urging convenience store retailers to capitalise on shoppers looking to top up their alcohol purchases now that the festive season is over.

Nielsen data shows the convenience sector accounted for 40% of off-trade booze sales in January 2017, when 69% of sales were from shoppers spending £10 or less. Almost a quarter (22%) of spirit buyers in the c-store sector said smaller pack formats were the “most important factor” to them when selecting products in-store.

Diageo said it was ‘crucial’ for wholesalers to stock fractional spirit bottle sizes as this would enable their customers to offer lower price points and help shoppers to ‘buy into the category’ at a time when they were on a budget.

The company suggested stocking the best-selling spirit brands in 200ml and 350ml bottles, as well as the standard 700ml formats.

Moderation, said Diageo, would be a “key focus” for consumers on a “something-for-tonight” shopping mission in January and the company recommended stocking smaller pack sizes of beer and cider and ensuring there was a choice of low- and alcohol-free products.

Claire Kendall, senior customer category manager at Diageo, said: “Smaller, more frequent shopping is more prevalent in January, after the indulgent festive period, teamed with the colder weather. Through our ‘Inspire, Display, Sell’ initiative, we’re keen to help retailers adapt their offering, cater to changing consumer needs, and increase sales as a result”.

Events in the first quarter of the year should also provide a valuable opportunity to increase basket spend, Kendall added.

“Valentine’s Day was a key event that can drive more sales growth than Halloween and Father’s Day. Research showed that 33% of shoppers would buy alcohol specifically to celebrate Valentine’s Day and spend up to £37 per trip.”

“The convenience channel has the perfect opportunity to capitalise on these events by driving impulse purchasing and trip spend with eye-catching displays and cross-category merchandising.”



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