Aperol Spritz

Campari hailed ‘momentum in aperitifs’ as a factor in it growing sales by 14.7% in the UK in the nine months to September

Campari has played up the possibility of launching an Aperol ready-to-drink (RTD) product in the UK.

David Heathwood, Campari’s UK commercial director, told The Grocer the Wild Turkey brand owner was seeing “the convenience mindset come to the forefront” in the off-trade booze category in the UK.

“They [UK shoppers] want quick and easy,” he said. “Whether that’s on the go or, actually, we’re seeing a lot more of RTD at home as well. It’s absolutely something we would look at.”

Asked which brands Campari saw RTD potential in, Heathwood said: “Speaking purely for the UK, the big one we would be looking at would be an Aperol RTD.”

Campari already sells a bottled Aperol Spritz ready-to-serve product in markets including the US, Canada, Italy, Germany and The Netherlands. It is made from Aperol, prosecco and soda water and has an abv of 9%.

Heathwood did not give any further indication as to when Campari could look to launch a similar proposition in the UK.

“We understand RTDs are a big opportunity,” he said. “It’s a big, growing area of focus in the UK and something we hope will be a big opportunity for us in the future.”

Presently, Campari’s UK alcoholic RTD portfolio consists of Campari Soda, a 10% abv blend of its namesake bitter, and a multi-serve Negroni cocktail at 26% abv. Both are sold in Waitrose.

It also sells Crodino, an Italian non-alcoholic aperitif.

Elsewhere, Heathwood said a slowdown in UK gin was likely to lead to rationalisation within retail.

“Gin and flavoured gin is still down significantly,” he said. “So I think coming into next year, you’ll see a lot of rationalisation in the off-trade. If you look at the fixtures, there’s a lot of different bottles and the macro space is slightly over.”

Campari’s Bulldog London Dry Gin is no longer listed with any of the big four mults. Heathwood said the group would be pushing the brand “more as a component of the Negroni” rather than as a standalone proposition.