Drink makers try on-pack giveaway blitz

Drinks companies are collaborating with other suppliers this Christmas on a series of on-pack giveaways. The aim is to halt what is seen as a damaging trend towards price promotion.

The “added consumer value” move has accelerated this year, according to industry sources, with most major spirits companies following the same link-up strategy.

Whyte & Mackay is to launch bottles of its Vladivar Vodka banded with bottles of Bass’s Hooper’s Hooch and its Whyte & Mackay whisky is to be sold with 1.5 litre bottles of Pepsi. IDV’s Smirnoff Vodka will be sold with a bottle of IDV’s Moscow Mule.

Industry insiders say Allied Domecq is to launch its liqueur Tia Maria with a free evening bag, and its brandy Courvoisier with a free three-hour video tape.

One source says: “Every Christmas the trade gets involved in price wars, and at the one time of the year when it can make some money.

“The drinks companies are offering added consumer value. Instead of giving its retail customers price cuts, which are then passed on to the consumer, they are trying to move people away from price.”

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