Although consumption falls in almost all areas, the “indulgent” products are saving the clothes: the Argentines adjust their expenses but they keep the possibility of giving themselves a “little treat” from time to time. This tendency is the vein that the companies that import alcoholic beverages take advantage of so that in the middle of the crisis the demand of the premium lines increases.
From Diageo, the beverage company that commercializes Scotch whiskeys of Johnnie Walker, opened for a month in Unicenter the first space in Argentina of the brand where consumers can taste different malts. The focus is on capturing sales for Father’s Day and adding new consumers. There lovers of single malts can find ten different brands from different regions of Scotland. Those who opt for the Blue Label, the top of the range, can personalize the gift with a message engraved on the bottle.
Although they had already done it in Chile, Ecuador and Peru, it is the first time that they have opened a space of this type in Argentina. “Since the opening of imports we have been growing a lot, there is a lot to advance in this field, the penetration of whiskey among drink consumers with alcohol is 20%, while in other spirits it is between 40 and 50% and in beer it is 90 % “, says Inés Caruso, marketing director of Diageo.
In the last 12 months, sales of Diageo whiskeys grew 21% in liters. According to the different labels, a bottle of Johnnie Walker starts at $ 1,000 and reaches $ 11,500 for the Blue Label. Caruso explains that “although mass consumption is still strong, small indulgences are the last to be resigned”.
And he explains that one of the reasons for the growth of premium whiskey is that it is a consumer segment that with the high dollar now travels less than before and also comes out less, so it turns to consumptions that can be made inside the home. To this is added that, due to devaluation, some imported products are cheaper today in Argentina than abroad.
“Currently there is a great tendency for global premiunization and sophistication among spirits and appetizers. Although the local context makes it difficult to replicate this phenomenon in Argentina, there is also a space to start developing premium variants of mainstream brands with a view to the long term, “says Cecilia Pizarro, Category Manager Grupo Cepas, which in this context is driving the sales of the Gentleman Jack whiskey, priced at $ 3,550.
The consumption of whiskey in Argentina is one million boxes per year. Data from IES Consultores reveal that in the first quarter of 2019, imports of beverages reached US $ 25.1 million, a sharp year-on-year decrease of 33.8%, while volumes fell 40% with 17.9 million liters. However, whiskey imports increased by 24.9% in volumes in this period.
Distribuidora Ley Seca aims to expand the premium champagne category. And it’s done by Taittinger, a sort of French-style boutique, which in the vicinity of the city of Reims produces only 6.5 million bottles per year. To re-launch the brand in the country days ago Clovis Taittinger, director, heir and current deputy manager of the company was in Buenos Aires.
“Argentina is a country that enjoys the art of living, like France,” says Clovis Taittinger to explain why they bet on this country in the midst of the crisis. The firm has three bottles in the local market that are distributed exclusively in wineries, restaurants and hotels: it goes from the Brut Rose that is sold at $ 4,140 to the Comte Blanc de Blancs in 2006, which reaches $ 13,230.
“It is not a massive brand to sell in supermarkets.” When you commercialize this type of product, you understand that the customer wants that brand, regardless of the price, and we try to take care of the price as distributors, we do not suddenly transfer the increases “, says Jorge Muñóz Olesti, commercial manager of Ley Seca. Today 600 boxes per year of Taittinger are sold in Argentina and the plan is to reach 1,000 in three years.