First Drinks to drive £50m into brands

28 May, 2010

First Drinks is planning to invest £50 million in its portfolio of brands this year, with Glenfiddich the number one priority.

A new advertising programme for Glenfiddich will go live in the run up to Christmas, which will be a “break from tradition”, said James Stocker, marketing controller for dark spirits.

“We’re relaunching the web-based explorers programme in June which engages with our target consumers,” he added.

A new website for the whisky brand will encourage two-way conversations, which will give users the chance to talk among themselves, in a bid to “harness how social networking has developed”, Stocker added.

There will also be a focus on Father’s Day on June 20, the company said, as it is “smack bang” in the middle of the World Cup this year.

Sales director John Hyman said: “During the football it gets challenging for spirits, as traditionally it’s all about beer, crisps and soft drinks. We’re making sure spirits aren’t forgotten.”?Malt whisky for Father’s Day is worth £10.6 million in the supermarkets and of June’s malt volume, 40% is sold in the three days before, according to Nielsen.

The company said summer drinks also represented an “exciting portfolio growth opportunity” and has launched a campaign to promote summer drinking of spirits with the strapline Get in the Spirit.

First Drinks is also trialling new fixtures where malt whisky is merchandised by a single four-point flavour scale to make it easier to understand.

It said a new 17 Year Old Limited Edition Balvenie will be released, and its Monkey Shoulder brand was looking to be involved with the Big Chill festival, following last year’s presence.




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Lifting the spirits

I were to sum up alcohol sales over Christmas 2017 in one word, it would be “gin”. At Nielsen, we define the Christmas period as the 12 weeks to December 30 and in that time gin sales were £199.4 million, which means they increased by £55.4 million compared with Christmas 2016. There’s no sign the bubble is about to burst either. Growth at Christmas 2016 was £22.4 million, so gin has increased its value growth nearly two-and-a-half times in a year. The spirit added more value to
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