Blog: Malts provide the treatment on Burns Night

13 February 2013

Malts provide the treatment on Burns Night: Malt Whisky continues to be a big draw with sales soaring by 49.4% versus Burns Night 2012 and up 57.2% versus the average day in 2012 Burns Night offers an outlet a great opportunity to diversify their offer and entice customers in out of the cold with a whole range of activities to commemorate the celebrated poet.

Whether it is a Malt Whisky tasting session or a Haggis, Neeps & Tatties meal deal there is plenty for consumers to get excited about, whether they are Scottish or not. One spirits category which flourishes on Burns Night is the Scotch category. Both Blended (+5.1%) and Malts (+49.4%) see uplifts versus last year and versus the average day.

Increased consumer knowledge of the Malt category and the implementation of promo items such as tasting notes and flavour maps help both staff and customer feel more comfortable about the category. Despite the success of the Malt category on this day, total food & drink sales were actually down by -7.9% versus last year.

This year, Burns Night fell on the 25th January and despite being on a Friday night, RoS was seriously affected by the weather, with parts of the country being placed under both a thaw and flood risk. CGA’s extensive Trading Index tool shows us that Beer & Cider (-10%), Spirits (-15%), Wine & Champagne (-3%) and Soft Drinks (-22%) all showed RoS declines versus the same day last year. Food sales (-2%) also see declines as the public decided to stay in doors for the event.

The worst areas hit for RoS declines were Scotland, the North and Central/Wales. Food sales did see uplift on the Saturday afternoon, when the weather returned to a sense of normality. Retailers who held Burns Night weeks and who made limited edition drinks available for the week rather than just the day benefitted here. Food sales RoS were up +3% versus the same day a year ago and were up +4% versus the average Saturday throughout 2012.

Matt Crompton, Account Manager

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