Christmas with COVID

Hot boosts for drinks sales

Considering how many premium options you have on across the festive season can provide another string to licensees’ bows. With such drinks selections expected to be in demand, Simon reckons that licensees should look to cater to customers looking to treat themselves throughout Christmas.

“One of the most profound changes I’ve noticed in the new trading environment is that our higher end drinks are flying out and I’m sure this will continue to grow right through until the end of the year,” he said.

“We do a lot of premium lagers, ales and gins and we find that it is those drinks that are doing amazingly well. After what the public has been through, I think now, and especially at Christmas, customers are looking to treat themselves. They want to have the drinks they maybe don’t have at home, and really get that special experience and choice that the pub offers, which is never so true as it is in December.”

Festive fun is being infused into Stuart’s bar Siberia’s drinks menu, while the addition of mulled wine - which is a proven seller for him - will provide a unique element of seasonality to the offer.

And this is bang on-trend with the growing movement towards hot drinks at this time of the year. Hot alcoholic drinks, and the different experience they offer, should be in-demand this year with options like mulled cider, hot buttered rums and gin or whisky-based Hot Toddys all providing operators with plenty to choose from.

“We’re trying to cheer people up with a bit of light-heartedness and escapism through our Christmas drinks,” said Stuart. “We’ve gone in for a lot of puns and festive ingredients with our cocktails. Mulled wine is the ultimate Christmas drink for us, you get those nice spice smells wafting around the venue and it puts a smile on peoples’ faces which is what we’re aiming to do this December.”

So, what can you do? We say, look to make the most of the demand for great drinks:

  • Paying attention to your soft drinks. With an abundance of exciting, high-quality alternatives on offer to outlets, this crucial category can’t be neglected. Whether it’s for mixing or as a standalone serve, a great soft drinks range can prove to be the backbone of a bar’s offer, especially as more and more consumers look to moderate their alcohol consumption when visiting the on-trade. 
  • Reviewing your premium options. Meet the enhanced need that Christmastime brings for superior drinks choices across the board.
  • Keeping it seasonal. Hot alcoholic drinks and festive cocktails can really help consumers connect with an outlet over winter and offer the perfect Christmassy experience.


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