Drinks Retailing News and sister title Harpers Wine & Spirit are teaming up to launch a day dedicated to the thriving UK whisk(e)y category.

Think Whisky 2018 builds on the success of our popular Think Gin and Think Rum events, which have been championing those burgeoning categories for several years.

It is a one-day trade event in London, allowing buyers to explore whiskies from a fantastic line up of producers from around the world (see below). It will pay tribute to the diverse category with an immersive day of debates, workshops, insights and tastings.

The main debate during the event will focus on broadening the appeal of whisky to unlock sales growth. 

Whisk(e)y is the second largest category in the UK spirits industry, accounting for 21% of sales. Yet the opportunity for the trade to boost sales remains vast, as it massively under-trades among female consumers and younger adults.

The onus is on retailers and bar owners to compose exciting ranges that appeal to as wide a demographic as possible, breaking down the manifold barriers to purchase.

A bottle of whisk(e)y represents a significant investment, and many consumers are put off because they find it intimidating, they are daunted by its fragmentary nature or they are afraid they will not like the taste.

Others find it too male-dominated and blokey, or write vast swathes of the category off as the preserve of older generations, and there is a huge opportunity to make whisk(e)y more accessible and boost sales and margins. The debate will explore how to compose the perfect whisk(e)y range to appaeal to as broad a range of people as possible, and the roles each sub-category can play, along with many more pressing topics. We hope to help the trade share best practice on how to make flavour descriptions and communications clearer and simpler to break down barriers to purchase, and explore the best ways in which to range and merchandise the category.

The event will be held at Sway in the heart of Holborn, London on Monday 17th September 2018.

Think Whisky is free to attend for buyers that are looking update their knowledge and taste a wide range of quality-driven and more artisanal whiskies from the plethora of labels available in the category.

Exhibitors at the event will include: Cotswolds Distillery; Fever Tree; Ian Macleod; Glengoyne; Tamdhu; Smokehead; Pigs Nose; Sheep Dip; Lakes Distillery; Steel Bonnets; The ONE PX Expression; Mackmyra; MACK; Brukswhisky; Svensk Ek; Svensk Rok Amerikansk Ek; Vinterglod; Arran Whisky; Platte Valley; Yamakazura; UWA; Maverick Drinks: Balcones; FEW; NYDC; Smooth Ambler; Widow Jane; TBWC; Wolfburn; and Brenne, plus others besides.

Email johanna.smith@agilemedia.co.uk for more details or to register your attendance at Think Whisky.