In the Rayon

Sometimes marketing ideas that seem great on paper dont translate so well to the real world. After studying the different types of rebates and discounts alcohol companies offer to consumers, we decided to take a look in local grocery stores in Paris to find out what really works in the aisles.

1) How anti-theft devices destroy Packaging in Store –

Most companies put out gift sets or special products, this is especially true in the Aged Whiskeys category, where it is common to see the bottle placed in a box or specialty packaging. However, in many French supermarkets managers are required to place anti-theft devices around the neck of the bottles they sell. This can have two negative effects on products in store. First, because the boxes must remain open the products do not look presentable in the store, and secondly – because the boxes are open at all times they do not fit onto lower shelves and have to be stored all along the highest shelves. this moves the product out of the eye line of most shoppers.


2) Alternative Packaging

Recently in store we found a good example of packaging that could help avoid problems with anti theft devices. The Champagne company below offered as a free gift a champagne chiller, but because of the design, the neck of the bottle was left exposed. This means that without opening or damaging the packaging store managers could easily add the anti theft device to the bottles, and it could be stored in its regular position, not on a top shelf.


3) Reduction Immediate-

According to the results of our survey, x% of consumers said that their preferred type of discount is the immediate discount or Bon de Réduction attached to their bottle. We see that in stores companies use this frequently. Below is an example of Moet Champagne, who during the holidays used the Bon de Réduction Immédiate, but they offered varying degrees of discount. Save 1€ for 1 bottle purchased, 3€ for 2 bottles purchased and 7€ for 3 bottles.  If consumers anticipate that they will need all three bottles during the holiday this is a good way to motivate them to buy.

colorful bottles and stand alone display

4) Free gift with Purchase

When asked if they could be motivated to purchase based on a free gift that came with their bottle, X% of consumers in our study said YES. While price remains the most important factor for consumers in this category when purchasing, gift with purchase is still very popular. We took a look in stores to see who was offering a gift with purchase. We found that  Rum companies, like Havana Club and Trois Rivières seem to be offering the same gift, a glass.


5) Shelf displays-

In store Absolut Vodka has installed shelf displays for their facings. They show here different popular flavors of their 70cL Vodkas. This works well to draw attention to the facings and to group their products, but what we didn’t like about this system in the store is that you can only place one bottle on the display. As soon as someone removes a bottle it becomes hard to see any of the products behind the display. This sort of display works well for Absolut because their bottles are on average much shorter and have a different shape than other brands. They thus have the vertical space to display their bottles on a stand, and to accommodate the extra space that the ant-theft devices take up. For brands who have taller bottles they couldn’t use this technique as well, especially if the store required anti-theft locks.

absolut stand

Another alternative to this sort of stand would be the display that pops out of the rayon and pushed the product out in front of the competition. This is highly visible in stores as shown below.

Smirnoff out of rayon

6) Portable Design Ideas-

In our Survey we asked consumers how they normally travel to get to their liquor store when they buy alcohol.  X%  of consumers said that they arrive at the store by foot, and X% told us that they buy alcohol for consomation the same day. This means that there is a large group of people who buy alcohol and then carry it to their party or soirée. In store we saw several design ideas that are convenient for transporting alcohol by hand.

portable design

Cardhu Whiskey also has a portable carrying case, which is made of leather. This could easily double as a gift bag if you wanted to offer the bottle to someone. We know that most people buy alcohol when they are invited to events, so this would provide a pleasing and functional design.

whiskey portable gift bag

7)Portable Premixed Drinks –

Also a portable design that is easy to transport by hand, but this is a premixed cocktail. Clients don’t have to buy syrups or sodas to mix the liquor with. There are several versions of this product on the market in the United States for making Frozen Margaritas and Frozen Daiquiris from companies like Daily’s or ParrotBay. You can place the pouch in the freezer and after a few hours you can serve frozen drinks.


8)Pour like a Bartender- Some companies package their products with add-ons that compliment the “at-home-bartender” theme. According to our survey x% of consumers enjoy making cocktails at home and X% said that they would be interested to buy a product with an attached gift.


9)Complimentary Product Promotion-

In our survey we found that Sodas, Fruit Juices and Chips are the three products that are most frequently purchased with hard alcohols in France. Here Grant’s has partnered with Belin, a well known snack company that manufactures crackers and chips for the apperatif. With the purchase of a bottle you get a bag of apperatif crackers included.

product packaging-apps

10) Organization by Format –

In several stores the smallest formats are located together. According to our study consumers often buy 50cL and 70cL drinks for the same types of events. For an aperatif consumers will buy either a 50cL or a 70cL bottle, but interestingly the 50cL is only purchased for small events like a soirée à 2 or an Aperatif. This leads us to believe that there may be some cannibalization of 70cL sales by the 50cL format. a Good idea may be to ask grocery stores to group the smaller formats like 50cL or 35cL together in one specific part of the aisle, a strategy that is already in place for the smallest formats.

small formats


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