Diageo spearheads a ‘spirits revolution’ in bars

Ketel One cocktailDiageo has announced a new initiative to help bars, pubs, restaurants and clubs to tap into the opportunity for growing spirits sales.

The Spirits Revolution aims to inspire licensees and bar staff to re-consider their current spirits offering and look at making simple changes that will deliver extra sales and increase profits.

Diageo has identified a “huge” sales growth opportunity across the spirit category which is already growing at 6% in value and 1% in volume in the UK, according to figures from on-trade specialist CGA Strategy.

The activity includes the UK launch for Diageo’s Bar Academy, offering different accredited training modules for bar staff covering a broad range of areas from the perfect serve to cocktails.

Diageo has appointed four bartenders to lead the Bar Academy training team in GB including Rob Poulter, who is resident on-trade spirits consultant at Diageo’s Western Europe Customer Collaboration Centre, plus Calum Lawrie, Matthew Guest and Douglas Graham-Leigh.

At the heart of the Spirits Revolution campaign is the insight that a spirit-based drink with a mixer can be the most profitable drink for a licensees, based on CGA figures.

It will focus on three key areas of “Inspire”, “Sell” and “Serve”, encouraging licensees to think about how they can inspire consumers to choose spirits, educating bar staff to upsell, and supporting them to achieve consistent quality through the perfect serve, every time.

The campaign is launching this month, in time for outlets to maximise summer drinks sales, with incremental activity throughout the year backed by marketing and advertising spend.

It will cover the entire Diageo GB portfolio, including Smirnoff and Ketel One vodkas, Gordon’s and Tanqueray gins, Johnnie Walker and Bushmills whiskies, Baileys and Captain Morgan rums, but aims to grow spirits across the categories.

Faith Holland, head of on-trade category development at Diageo, said: “Spirits is the fastest-growing alcoholic drink category.

“We know from recent research that if we can work with licensees to encourage consumers to choose spirits on more occasions and increase the average spend through upselling, then the category growth opportunity in one year could be a huge £660million. This presents a significant opportunity for growth within the spirits category.

“To maximise spirits sales, Diageo will help licensees to choose the right spirits range for their outlet, display spirits on their back bar so they are easy to choose and use finished drinks on their blackboards and menus to drive crave appeal, all of which will “Inspire” their customers to choose spirits.

“We will also give licensees the confidence to “Sell” by offering training on simple product knowledge and educate them on upselling opportunities, as well as training them on the “Serve” to ensure they deliver consistent-quality, great-tasting drinks, every time.”

The campaign will be brought to life through a series of inspiring and educational initiatives across print and online channels. To be involved in the activity, licensees can register at www.spirits-revolution.com from April 25.

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