Despite a dent in consumer confidence and falling volumes for some of its brands, the drinks giant is forecasting that increased demand for premium products and a switch to take-home trade means it can achieve record year-on-year growth this Christmas.
Innovation includes a pint-sized can of Guinness to help consumers replicate the pub experience at home, and a silver version of Jose Cuervo tequila.
Diageo is also investing in
Baileys - the second biggest alcohol brand at Christmas in the multiples behind Stella Artois. New packaging is being rolled out and there will be gift packs, sampling in 150 stores and a £5m above-the-line campaign between September and December - 10% up on last year’ spend - incorporating the ‘Zero Gravity’ ad.
Guinness, which is advertised on TV in the new ‘Mustang’ execution, will receive a marketing spend of £6m until December - a 13% increase on last year.
Despite a 2% drop in volume, Bell’s remains the top blended whisky and will be supported with a £3m ad and sponsorship campaign in the run-up to Christmas, a spend increase of 50% on last year.
Steve Gannon, off-trade managing director, believed Christmas discounting would be less aggressive this year - retailers knew it was not needed. Good stock forecasting incorporating the switch to off-trade and consumers trading up would be key to Christmas.