Malt whisky sales 'can be boosted by 20%'

Malt whisky sales can increase by up to 20% if retailers rethink their merchandising, according to Glenfiddich producer First Drinks.

The supplier says a three-year research programme looking at shopper and consumer behaviour has revealed that simplifying the whisky category can reap dividends for retailers.

Sales director John Hyman said: “We have been investing a lot of time and money in the whisky category, which our research has shown needs demystifying, particularly in the malt category to make the sector more accessible to consumers.

“We have now begun to discuss with retailers the benefits of remerchandising the whisky fixture, looking at flavour and taste profiles to aid the shopper when in the whisky aisle.

“Our studies have revealed the importance of shopper interaction via correct positioning and signposting at fixture hotspots, along with organising the range by flavour profile and improving brand visibility and standout on shelf.”

Retailers working with First Drinks now put educational strips on shelves with additional panels on the side of the fixture. Shelves have been split into four flavour profiles, ranging from light and floral to peaty and smoky.

First Drinks is encouraging retailers to use methods such as displaying “awards won” and “as recommended by” shelf barkers. Stores are being encouraged to stock smaller size variants such as 35cl bottles to offer consumers premium variants at an affordable price point.