Published On 08/23/2019


  • Conviviality is at the heart of Pernod Ricard UK’s Christmas campaign this year, with the premium wine, spirits and champagne supplier supporting outlets guarantee their customers will come back, stay longer and spend more
  • Christmas is also a time for giving back and for the first time, Pernod Ricard UK will host over 100 bartenders on Christmas Day, whilst also inviting older and younger neighbours to make new friends over the festive period

Pernod Ricard UK is investing £5m in the run up to Christmas to ensure this year is as sparkling as the last for the UK on-trade. With less people visiting the on-trade in 2018 than the previous year, but visiting more often[1], it’s more important than ever to secure repeat visits and higher spend.


The campaign has two clear aims: to support the on-trade in creating great drinks, exciting experiences and knock-out festive menus, as well as giving back to those in need of an extra helping of conviviality this year, who do not have big groups of friends or family to celebrate with.


To drive awareness of its leading festive brands and to propel consumers into the on-trade this Christmas, Pernod Ricard UK is increasing its above the line advertising spend by 37%, with campaigns going live from October for Jameson, Plymouth, The Glenlivet and Chivas. This contributes to an overall investment in the Christmas occasion of more than £5m, nearly 70% more than last year.


James Bremner, On-Trade Channel Director for Pernod Ricard UK, comments: “2018 was a good year for the on-trade, however, we anticipate outlets will need to work harder this year to maintain sales and value growth. Our mission is to support our customers offer a quality premium drinks experience that will encourage people to come back to their outlet, stay longer and spend more.”


Supporting the delivery of premium experiences

A stand-out reason for the declining number of people visiting the UK on-trade last Christmas was the festive offer not being right, whether that be quality or type of experience. Consumers are, however, looking to spend 1/3 more at Christmas on better quality drink[2] and it’s good news for the UK on-trade, as Pubs and Restaurants are the second and third fastest growing entertainment categories respectively[3].


The on-trade is booming, with value growing £2.5bn since 2015 and experiencing the largest growth last year[4]. Spirits were the clear winner last Christmas and the only drinks category to experience growth1 with premiumisation driving growth across all categories[5]. Pernod Ricard UK is supporting customers maintain Christmas sales and drive further growth by getting their drinks menu right.


Gin: white spirits overtook dark spirits for the first-time last year due to the increased popularity and demand for Gin[6]. This Christmas is likely to be the third in a row dominated by Gin, and the average outlet now stocks on average eight different types: two Standard, three Premium and three Super Premium. Gin is also a huge part of cocktail culture and Pernod Ricard UK has a range of festive serves and vessels to ensure Gin stands out on menus this year.

Martini’s: sales of cocktails continue to outperform the market, with 41,000 venues now serving them. The Porn Star Martini, the UK’s number one cocktail, accounts for 15% of mainstream cocktail volume[7], and the Espresso Martini, a festive classic firmly in the Top 10 and rising two places since 2017, are must-haves on any menu. It’s equally important, however, to offer festive twists to ensure your outlet stands out, such as the Chocolate Orange Martini or a Chai Latte Martini (see recipes below).

Hot serves: one in five UK consumers tried a hot alcoholic cocktail in 2018 and this can be attributed to the rise in popularity of Christmas markets. Hot alcoholic drinks top the polls of what those willing to try something new would choose and it’s really simple to get right. Pernod Ricard UK is giving away 40,000 enamel cups and 300 urns to support outlets wanting to try hot alcoholic drinks, with a supporting range of drinks serves across its portfolio, including: Beefeater Blood Orange, Havana Club and The Glenlivet.

Low/No: With three out of 10 people actively trying to reduce their alcohol intake, and the no and low category predicted to outperform total spirits volume growth for the next three years[8], it’s important to offer both options for guests wanting a non-alcoholic option, such as a CEDER’s and Tonic, or a lower-ABV option, such as a Lillet Spritz (see recipe below).

Menus: The menu is still the most influential asset for consumers choosing drinks and therefore, it’s important to get it right1. Pernod Ricard UK is supplying 126,000 festive vessels, such as snow globes, to ensure consumers get that ‘Instagrammable’ serve they are looking for, as well as encouraging trade-up into Premium serves.


Giving Back

Bringing people together is at the heart of Pernod Ricard UK’s Christmas push, with two initiatives taking place to bring together those that may not have large groups of family and friends to celebrate. Three ‘Bartender Dinners’ will be held across the country on Christmas Day to allow those who work in the industry, but whose families may be abroad, to enjoy the day making new friends. Bartenders able to nominate themselves or a colleague to be a guest at one of the unique dinners when entries open in September.

Pernod Ricard UK is also partnering with Mission Mars and charitable organisation, The Cares Family, to bring older and younger Manchester neighbours together by holding two events in October and November in Mission Mars venues: Gorilla and The Deaf Institute. The new initiative aims to reduce isolation, increase wellbeing and bridge the gaps across social, generational and digital divides through celebrating moments of connection. The two winter events follow a successful launch at The Loft, Manchester, which saw a combined total of 50 older neighbours and Pernod Ricard UK employees come together and participate in a variety of cocktail-making workshops. The event was the first of a series that will form an on-going partnership between The Cares Family and Pernod Ricard UK, and is rooted in a shared belief in the power of relationships and conviviality.

Bremner continues, “We’re incredibly proud to be bringing people together this Christmas through both a partnership with The Cares Family and Mission Mars, as well as our first-ever Bartenders Dinner on Christmas Day. As a business, we believe that conviviality should be at the heart of everyday life, whether that be through relationships with your friends, family or those you meet for the very first time and we are delighted to be spreading that messaging this Christmas.”


[1] CGA Christmas Report 2018

[2] CGA Christmas Report 2018

[3] Barclay Card Consumer Spending Report 2018, CGA Business Leaders Survey 2019

[4] CGA Total On-Trade MAT Value Sales to 23.02.19

[5] CGA Total On-Trade MAT Value Sales to 23.02.19

[6] CGA Christmas Report OPMS data to P13 2018

[7] CGA GB OnTrade; MAT 23.03.19

[8] IWSR data 2018 – 2022 for UK 9L Volume

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