Christmas Alcoholic Drinks Sales Drivers
Everyone is very much aware that alcoholic drinks drive sales at Christmas. The way the calendar is configured this year favours small stores. Christmas Eve/New Years Eve on a Sunday cuts off sales in multiples by late afternoon leaving the way clear for small stores.
The mix of sales and the trends change year on year. A number of themes are coming through for 2017.
- A move to low or no alcohol variants. Particularly in lager.
- The shift from standard to premium. This is becoming prevalent in the spirits category.
- An increase in the cocktails at home activity.
- Drinks for socializing, which in turn is linked to cocktails and sparkling wines.
Beers & Ciders
Categories and growth trends to watch
- Craft ales and amber ales.
- Low/no alcohol lagers
- Flavoured lager
- Flavoured ciders
- Multi-packs for sharing and parties.
- Mini kegs – sales are growing fast from a low base.
The entire category enjoys growth and again there is a move to more premium & higher priced products.
- Sparkling wine continues to be a category driver. Sales of Prosecco are very strong. Don’t neglect Spumante’s and Cava’s as alternatives.
- Fruit wines are in growth.
- Rose wine is a popular party drink.
- Vermouths are an important cocktail mixer so should be available.
- Single serve 187ml sizes offer a great profit opportunity.
- Champagne is always popular and will be in demand on both Christmas and New Years Eve.
Fortified Wines and Ports
There is still a robust market for sherry and port at Christmas. One version of each should be stocked.
Spirits & Liqueurs
Cocktails are the driver in this category. Gin is still leading the way in sales growth.
- Premium gins and vodkas are growing strongly.
- Malt whiskeys are taking off.
- Bourbons remain highly popular
- Shot spirits are strong sellers.
- Miniatures are a great opportunity.
- All 20cl and 35cl standard spirits see a big lift in the season.
- RTD pre-mixes sell well. The top sku being Jack Daniels and Coke.
- Cream liqueurs always lift off at Christmas. The leading brand continues to be Baileys.
Cocktails & Shots
It is very difficult to accommodate all ingredients for cocktails & shots in a small store. Some recommendations.
- White Rum
- Grand Marnier
- Cherry Brandy
- Blue Curacao
This area can yield great profits from a small space.
- Lemon slices
- Cocktail cherries
- Cocktail sticks
There is a lot of brand development happening in this category. For years the leader has been Schweppes. Fever Tree and Fentimans are now challenging this position.
- The top selling mixer is tonic.
- Ginger is now gaining popularity as a cocktail mixer.
- Don’t neglect the low calorie versions of all the mixers.
- Orange, pineapple and cranberry juice are important cocktail mixers.
- Soda water & lemonade is important.
Enjoy the Christmas opportunity!
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