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haggis

The annual festival of whisky and haggis is almost upon us so make sure you don’t miss out on the sales opportunities that exist around Burns Night.


It’s nearly that time of year when customers around the country will be preparing for the annual whisky and haggis fest that is Burns Night. It falls on a Tuesday this year which isn’t exactly ideal for those shoppers intending to over-indulge a little on Scotland’s national drink, but it’s certainly a great time to pushing Scotland’s other national drink hard. Iconic products like the Irn-Bru range will be huge demand as the Saltires fly and the tartan swirls.

“Retailers can maximise sales of soft drinks this Burns Night by stocking up on popular Scottish brands,” says Adrian Troy, Marketing Director at Barr Soft Drinks.

Troy says Barr brands play a key role in offering choice, quality and value for shoppers looking for the perfect accompaniment to traditional Scottish celebrations. Burns Night boosts the total category, with 32,000 more units of take home soft drinks sold in the week before the occasion [IRI, Jan 2019].

“On Burns Night, shoppers are actively seeking brands which reflect their Scottish heritage, and Barr’s brands are perfectly suited to this occasion,” says Troy.

He advises retailers to drive sales this Burns Night by stocking up on iconic Scottish brands like Irn-Bru and the Barr Family range. Irn-Bru is the number one Scottish grocery brand [Kantar, Sep 2018] and grew in value by 5% in the week preceding Burns Night in 2019 [IRI, Jan 2019].

Troy says Irn-Bru regular, XTRA, and Sugar Free variants are all must-stock products for Scottish retailers at Burns Night as they work well as a mixer or as stand-alone refreshing soft drinks.

“Having a range of well-known Scottish brands and popular flavours to choose from is really important to shoppers, particularly when they are catering for large family gatherings,” he says, and urges retailers to stock up on larger sharing pack formats and multipacks.

“Our advice is stock up on those iconic brands that shoppers recognise and enjoy, re-stock regularly to avoid missing out on sales and you will see great results this Burns Night,” concludes Troy.

Dram fine

Burns Night simply wouldn’t be Burns Night without a dram or seven, which is why Diageo recently announced a new look and feel for the UK’s second biggest blended scotch whisky [Nielsen], Bell’s Original Whisky. The new bottle was launched with a £1m media investment behind the brand’s first TV ad in six years.

The new packaging was rolled out last month in 70cl and 1L formats with RSPs of £16 and £20 respectively.

The refreshed bottle features founder, Arthur Bell, showcasing the brand’s heritage in a contemporary way to maintain its identity and stand out on shelf.

The TV ad featured doorbell chimes ringing out to the tune of Burns’ Auld Lang Syne with the message to Drop by for a Bell’s.

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