Firing up drinks sales

28 May, 2010

Despite the past few summers proving to be something of a damp squib weather-wise, the barbecue season continues to receive backing from drinks companies looking to cash in on people entertaining at home.

National BBQ Week, which runs from May 31 to June 6 this year, has been renamed National Braai Week to tie in with this year’s World Cup in South Africa.

Braai is the South African term for barbecue and organiser the National BBQ Association says because it precedes the start of the World Cup by a few days it represents the “perfect opportunity for independent retailers to kick-off their summer”.

Ehrmanns’ marketing director Keith Lay says: “National BBQ Week is one of a range of awareness events that independent wine retailers should diarise. There is a great deal of national coverage around activities such as this which happen every year. The canny retailer will be ahead of the game, benefiting from the publicity.

“To go that extra mile during the week – in fact throughout the British summer – wine retailers could team up with the local butcher, grocer or fishmonger to run joint promotions, and make sure they have wines in stock that are geared towards alfresco dining.”?The association has teamed up with Blossom Hill, Pimm’s, Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer and Caribbean Twist this year to support National BBQ Week.

Diageo has launched an integrated campaign for Pimm’s which will run until the end of August, including TV advertising, in-store activity and a “thermally activated” radio marketing campaign, which will see the Pimm’s advertisement aired when the weather reaches 22°C or above.

ast summer its marketing campaign, which saw the launch of a new TV ad, focused on reaching consumers in regions outside of the traditional Pimm’s heartland of south east England and, according to Diageo, saw an increased penetration of 172,000 additional households nationally.

The brand is also part of the recently announced joint marketing campaign between Diageo GB and Coca-Cola Enterprises, aimed at driving spirit and mixer sales in the off-trade and growing basket spend.

Halewood International will also be supporting the National BBQ Association’s campaign with a burst of off-trade advertising for its Caribbean Twist pre-mixed cocktail brand.

As part of the sponsorship, Caribbean Twist and Crabbie’s will be sampled by an estimated 150,000 consumers during the 15-week National Roadshow between now and September.

Hannah Blackburn, brand manager for Caribbean Twist, says: “The focus for Caribbean Twist is to grow distribution and awareness of the brand. The affiliation with National BBQ Week allows us to reach both the consumer and the off-trade successfully, and capitalises on the prime summer barbecue season.”?Sainsbury’s has been running a promotion with 20% off all ciders and selected spirits, and Morrisons is holding a cider festival across all its stores in the UK, which involves more than 30 types of cider on special offer and over 20 additional cider ranges on a permanent multisave.

Cider buyer Matthew Cain says: “The popularity of cider is soaring and with such a vast range on offer people are finding a cider to suit their palate and their menu. With summer hopefully round the corner we know cider will be in even more demand, so this festival is perfectly timed.”?Soft drink brand Shloer is also targeting barbecues as a core part of its £12 million Best Served Shared marketing programme which includes food-themed advertising, online activity, sampling, couponing and promotions.

It is also the first time that Shloer Rosé, launched last autumn, will be available in the barbecue season.

Amanda Grabham, marketing communications controller for Shloer, says: “Retailers need to be flexible and be prepared to set out their barbecue offering at the first hint of some warm weather.”?The Shloer Sizzling Survey, which saw more than 1,000 consumers take part, has been undertaken to gain more insight into the Brits’ love affair with the barbecue.

It revealed that the barbecue season can prove to be a lucrative boost to business for retailers, with some enthusiasts spending in excess of £100 on food and drink per barbecue.

The survey also indicates that some 10.3 million households in Britain will host a barbecue, and 1.3 million barbecue enthusiasts will each average 7.5 barbecues over the summer.

Kingsland Wines & Spirits has just launched Runestone Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, to try and tap into the market (rrp £10).

Commercial manager Mark Elener says: “We have timed the launch to coincide with the start of the summer as the bag-in-box format offers a much more practical way to carry and serve wines at barbecues, picnics and festivals.”

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