Editor’s Note: This blog was originally published by Snooper App. Snooper App was acquired by Wiser Solutions in 2022 and this blog has been revised and repurposed for a global audience. A version of this blog is also published in National Liquor News.
As Father’s Day typically sees shoppers performing little research, and 75 percent of liquor gift purchases occur the week prior to the event, the in-store display is a key touchpoint used to drive purchase.
Father’s Day 2020 may have been somewhat anomalous as some parts of Australia were still locked down (Victoria) and anecdotally the number of in-store displays had reduced versus prior years. At any rate, a look back at 2019 may give some indications of what Father’s Day 2021 may hold. Here we’re going to look at off-location displays (share allocated by category and winning brands, as extracted from the in-store images submitted by our Snooper shoppers).
In 2019, the number of displays in the lead-up to Father’s Day was 1.3 times higher than immediately afterward, even taking into account Footy Finals activations.
However, when looking at the category level, the share of displays achieved was not necessarily congruent with the share of purchase. For example, wine was the most off-located category at 53 percent of displays versus 28 percent share of purchase during Father’s Day, while spirits was unsurprisingly the most popular liquor category but only had 8 percent of displays versus 32 percent share of purchase.
Within spirits, to be expected, whisky was the most off-located category. Brands with high volume share in total spirits such as Johnnie Walker and Jack Daniel’s (respectively ranked number two and six in total spirits volume market share) were the most prominent and had the highest display penetration. But other brands ranked lower in spirits volume share over-invested above their fair share during this key selling period, such as Chivas Regal (ranked 18th in volume share but second in display penetration) and Glenfiddich (ranked 34th and third on the off-location podium).
In wine, per tradition, red varietals tend to be in the spotlight with retailers dedicating specific hotspots branded around the occasion—e.g. Liquorland’s display of “Aussie Reds for Dad.”
Despite some perceptions, rightly, of Father’s Day being all about gift boxes such as Johnnie Walker’s and glassware such as that by Stella Artois, discounts were the number one mechanic used on displays across categories. While discounts may help suppliers secure placement in-store with retail partners, the depth of discount required should be considered carefully, as the majority of Father’s Day shoppers do not have a firm budget in mind. In fact, they may be willing to upgrade to “buy something nicer for Dad,” with most liquor purchases ranging from $20-$100.
Indeed, in 2019 we observed some categories finding ways to obtain premium space without the need for deep discounting.
Some spirits brands achieved off-location space with no promotion by using simple Father’s Day branding and tastings, or gifts with purchases related to classic Father’s Day items, which is what Chivas did with their socks promotion. Some, such as Glenfiddich, also leveraged personalization with custom gifts. Others used Father’s Day-related prizes displayed in-store to catch shoppers’ attention, such as Tempus Two with a Smoker BBQ, Jack Daniel’s with a bar fridge, or Taylors Wine with a Smart TV. Lastly, limited editions also helped secure prime hotspots, such as the James Squire “Wreck Survivors Ale” specially released for Father’s Day.
Let’s see how Father’s Day 2021 plays out, and whether there is any break with tradition in terms of categories and discounting. We’ll have our mystery shoppers on the case.