Bountiful beers and cider cheers

Coors Light now accounts for 5% of the total off-trade market
Coors Light now accounts for 5% of the total off-trade market

Once again, drinks companies are again doing their bit to keep the ghost of Christmases past – the spectre of cross-border sales – at bay by offering excellent value.


Brand Central

19 November 2010

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The overall beer segment has faced a challenging year within the Irish market. However there are still several signs of encouragement from brands which have managed to successfully engage with consumers. Barry & Fitzwilliam said it anticipated growth in overall Corona sales to reach 10% in 2010, for example, while Polish brand Karpackie, distributed in Ireland by Comans, has demonstrated impressive growth in the past year, to the extent that it is now the fifth biggest selling can of lager in Ireland.

Another encouraging sign is that earlier this year, the Drinks Industry Group Ireland (DIGI) said that the Government’s excise reduction announced as part of Budget 2010 has had the desired effect of stemming cross-border alcohol purchasing. A 6.4% increase in sales was recorded in the first six months of 2010. This statistic was also boosted by the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s decision to raise VAT there. These facors have succeeded in stemming the tide of southern shoppers heading north for off-trade bargains.

Unfortunately however, reports are now beginning to emerge that due to the weak pound, consumers are once again starting to commence an exodus up north in a search for bargains. Offering consumers value for money is subsequently vital in order to drive volume sales. The good news is that many drinks companies are attempting to meet this demand with special value packs in time for the festive party season.

DIGI has also said it will work with the Government to identify further stimulus measures in this December’s Budget to boost the employment-intensive hospitality industry in order to prevent closures and save jobs.

DIGI chairman, Kieran Tobin, commented: “Last year DIGI consistently pointed out that Ireland’s high levels of alcohol taxation was a key reason why many consumers were opting to travel to Northern Ireland to do their shopping and called on the Government to address this by reducing excise.

“Their welcome decision to do so has clearly worked. Official data shows that the overall drinks market increased by 6.4% in the first six months of 2010 driven exclusively by double-digit growth in off-sales, offset by strong declines in the on-trade. This clearly points to shoppers opting to purchase alcohol and other goods locally, thus providing a stimulus to the wider economy that was absent in 2009.”

Overall consumption in all four alcohol drinks categories, beer, spirits, cider and wine declined in 2009, yet cider experienced the lowest decline followed by beer and then wine and spirits.

Cool Christmas for Coors Light

It’s set to be a cool Christmas for Coors Light this year. To cap off a great year for the brand, Coors Light’s new customised Christmas packaging and POS material promises to bring the Rockies to life.  The new Rocky Mountain packaging will be unveiled just in time for the festivities, both on pack and in store.

In 2010, Coors Light boasts continued growth in all channels across all regions. The latest figures from AC Nielsen (MAT Aug 2010) demonstrate strong consumer call for the brand in an ever challenging market.  This was especially true in the off-trade where Coors Light now accounts for 5% of the total market. Coors Light is now also the number one on-trade bottle and the fastest growing draught lager beer in the on-trade. The results stem from increased activity from the brand and a fresh new look and feel for 2010 which brings rocky mountain refreshment to pubs and off-licences across the country.

This year Coors Light introduced its first ever on-pack promotion called Destination Rocky Mountains. The promotion lived online where hundreds of consumers competed to win one of eight weekly trips of a lifetime of a trip to the Rocky Mountains in December with three friends. A brand new TV commercial and outdoor creative also increased visibility.
For more information, visit ireland and

Barry & Fitzwilliam has anticipated a 10% growth in its overall Corona sales for 2010Corona delivers Extra sales

Corona Extra has grown dramatically in both the on-trade and off-trade over the last few years and the trend already this year is for more of the same.  Corona is currently backed by an intensive radio, TV and poster campaign with the theme “Experience the Extraordinary” and will sponsor the Corona Cork Film Festival again this year.  The 12 pack for the off-trade has really helped its visibility in this sector.  “We anticipate a 10% growth in our overall Corona sales for 2010 in a market that is suffering dramatically,” drinks company Barry & Fitzwilliam said in a statement.

A draught of refreshment

This Christmas, Heineken makes it easy to cater for every festive occasion with special Christmas offers including special edition 12 bottle packs; 20 bottle packs; 8 can packs; 24 can slabs and the Heineken Draught Keg.

The 5L draught keg is perfect for entertaining and comes into its own over Christmas, consistently providing perfect quality draught Heineken with an intelligent patented pressure system which ensures fresh beer for 30 days after tapping.
All Christmas activations will be supported with an above the line campaign as well as a full suite of complementary POS for all off-trade partners.

Heineken is the number one lager and currently holds a 27.2% volume share of the total lager market (AC Nielsen August 2010).  With a marketing calendar that packs a punch all year round and prolific sponsorships including the Heineken Cup, the Rugby World Cup, UEFA Champions League, Oxegen and the Heineken Green Spheres series, Heineken continues to resonate and connect with Irish lager lovers throughout the year, but especially at Christmas.

Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer offers a secret blend of exotic spices and fresh, fiery ginger

Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer offers a secret blend of exotic spices and fresh, fiery ginger

A wizard winter warmer

Whether you fancy roasting chestnuts by a crackling fire or heading down to your local for some hearty festive grub, a secret blend of exotic spices and fresh, fiery ginger makes Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer the perfect winter warmer.

For consumers who like a little spice, it’s time to ditch the Dom Perignon and shelve the sherry; Christmas could be a whole lot spicier with Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer. This is the perfect tipple for festive Christmas lunches, hearty family dinners or even a relaxing night in on the sofa. It’s also ideal for consumers who fancy trying something different this year.

Distributed throughout Ireland by United Wine Merchants, Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer is made from a unique secret recipe.  Unlike other makers of ginger beers who use flavourings to get their ginger taste, there are no shortcuts for Crabbie’s.  The brand says it uses real steeped ginger all the way from the Far East, and then takes eight weeks to brew its top secret ingredients and steeped ginger blend to achieve the deliciously quaffable deep spicy flavour.

And while some say that Ginger offers a cure for sea sickness, others actually suggest it’s an aphrodisiac! With centuries of experience behind it and using only the finest products, the company notes all it can say is that the uniquely refreshing sparkle of Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer speaks for itself.

Available in cases of 12 x 500ml Bottles at RRP €3.  For more information on Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer contact your local business development manager or call United Wine Merchants on 048 38316555 or see website

Stocking early bears fruit

Maintaining the time-honoured tradition of cider making, which has been continued for over seven decades in Annerville, Clonmel. Bulmers has become an all year round drink of choice for consumers as the number three brand in the low alcoholic drinks (LAD) market, with peaks at key selling periods such as Christmas.

Stephen Kent, marketing director, Bulmers, is giving customers a timely reminder to stock up early in anticipation of this busy period in order to avoid the risk of being caught out of stock.

This Christmas-time Bulmers is offering a selection of great value party packs for the season:

  • Bulmers Original 18 x 500ml can party pack
  • Bulmers Original ‘8 for the price of 7’ x 500ml can pack
  • Bulmers Pear ‘6 for the price of 5’ x 500ml can pack
  • Bulmers Light ‘6 for the price of 5’ x 500ml can pack
  • Bulmers Berry ‘6 for the price of 5’ x 500ml can pack

Reflecting the current economic climate, all packs offer consumers a discount versus standard retail prices.

The Bulmers Christmas campaign returns with a TV ad shot on location in Clonmel which will commence at the start of the Christmas season in December across TV and outdoor formats.

Berry fruitful results

February 2010 saw an exciting new product launch to the Irish drinks sector as Bulmers Ltd. introduced new Bulmers Berry.  The new fruit cider entered a largely untapped, growing market with considerable potential.

Bulmers Berry is a unique blend of 17 varieties of apple, similar to Bulmers Original, fused with the finest selection of blackcurrants, raspberries and strawberries.  With an ABV of 4.5%, Bulmers Berry is a premium and natural product maintaining the distinctive character of its parent Bulmers.

New Bulmers Berry was supported by a heavyweight national TV, outdoor, online and sampling campaign.  In keeping with the undergrowth nature of the product, Bulmers opted for an underground theme for its launch activity in association with Secret Wars which continued with Undergrowth Movement Secret Wars events across the country. For the first time ever Bulmers rolled out a PR, online, viral and word of mouth campaign prior to the launch of the mainstream ATL activity in the summer.

Bulmers Berry is available in Pint Bottle and Longneck in the licensed trade and 500ml can in grocery with a RRP at parity with Bulmers Original.

Bulmers Berry and Spin 1038 and Spin South West joined forces in a search to find undiscovered DJ talent. Bulmers Berry DJ Wars gave the shout out to all unsigned and aspiring DJs with the winning DJs crowned at a live final in Dublin’s The Good Bits and in Limerick’s the Trinity Rooms, and, as well as receiving a guest slot on Spin 1038 and Spin South West, also won a trip to the legendary dance island of Ibiza.

Spin 1038 and Spin South West top Dance DJs made up the judging panel with the competition catering for all interests including hip hop, R’n’B, indie rock, house, trance, techno and dubstep.

In a league of its own

Now in its fifth season and firmly established as one of the leading tournaments in the rugby world, the Magners League continues to grow from strength to strength.  Each season fans have exciting, new developments to look forward to.
May of this year saw the inaugural Magners League Grand Final at the RDS, Dublin, between the Ospreys and Leinster. This was a sell-out occasion that featured an impressive 14 British and Irish Lions.

In addition to new broadcast partners RTE and TG4, momentum was added to the league with this current season kicking off with the addition of two new Italian teams to the tournament; Aironi Rugby and Benetton Treviso.

The first ever competitive rugby fixture at the new Aviva stadium was the Magners League Leinster v Munster October 2nd match, also the biggest fixture in world rugby that weekend.  Leinster and Munster shared another piece of history as the match was watched by a Magners League record crowd of 50,645.

With many fan engagement activities planned both on and off trade throughout the season, Bulmers’ commitment to fans of sport is just as strong as ever this year.

Sponsorship successes

Bulmers longest running sponsorship entered its 19th consecutive year as title sponsors to the Bulmers All Ireland Cups and Shields competition, with this year being one of the most successful to date.  The finals took place in September at Castlebar Golf Club.

Organised by the Golfing Union of Ireland, the tournament is one of the most coveted championship tournaments in the inter-club calendar and is regarded as the biggest amateur golfing competition in Europe with Irish golfing hero Padraig Harrington competing in the Cups and Shields as a young amateur.

Bulmers Live at Leopardstown was another successful event. Racing rocked at Leopardstown again in 2010 when for eight Thursday nights Dublin’s only racecourse combined the atmosphere of a boutique music festival with the best in horse racing, all for an unbeatable entry price of €15.

Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Mundy, Aslan, Duke Special, Paul Brady, Delorentos, Alabama 3, Sharon Shannon Big Band featuring Shane MacGowan all lined-up to soundtrack this years series of summer nights out with a difference.

Oranjeboom has a price point of E19.99 for 24x33 cl bottles Fashionable choice to Pear Up

Bulmers Pear also teamed up with Today FM’s KC Show to launch their brand new singles events entitled, Pear Up with Bulmers Pear and KC. The Pear Up events took place in the Turk’s Head in Dublin, and Kelly’s Bar in Galway, both proving to be a massive success.

With ‘Old Skool’ slow sets for the romantics, lots of fun games like giant Twister for the more adventurous as well as spot prizes like weekends away, there was something for everyone.

In 2010 Bulmers Light teamed up with well-known Irish fashion retail brand, A|wear, to support a series of customer events in stores nationwide. Customers were invited to sample Bulmers Light in Dublin’s Henry Street and Grafton Street; Wexford; Waterford; Cork and Galway.  The events were promoted in-store and via social media; print advertising and PR, with shoppers enjoying shopping discounts; Bulmers Light product; makeovers and goodie bags.

Karpackie is the fifth biggest selling can of lager in IrelandComans unpacks festive treats

Oranjeboom is one of Holland’s best selling lagers and famous the world over. Oranjeboom has a typical Dutch flavour and quality that Irish consumers like. What makes this product stand out among Dutch beers in Ireland is that it is available at its original Dutch 5% ABV. This together with a price point of €19.99 for 24×33 cl bottles means Oranjeboom will surely be a winner this Christmas.

Karpackie is now the fifth biggest selling can of lager in Ireland. Comans believes its growth and success has been nothing short of phenomenal in 2010. It’s now perfect timing to launch in bottle format for a new refreshing experience. Karpackie brewed in Poland is available at 5% ABV in 20×33 cl bottlers for just €17.99 per case.



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