It’s taken a few years for Father’s Day to become synonymous with June. Traditionally retailers and suppliers let mums steal the thunder with a far greater emphasis placed on Mother’s Day merchandising and activity in March.
Dads still have a bit of catching up to do. Research by Mintel estimates that £360 million was spent on products for Father’s Day in 2015, compared with the £510 million spent on Mother’s Day.
Mintel also notes that fewer than half (47%) of Brits spent any money on Father’s Day last year, but this statistic also indicates the potential for growth for the occasion.
Nick Carroll, research analyst at Mintel, says: “There is certainly room to grow the market for Father’s Day, especially for retailers engaged in the selling of entertainment products such as DVDs, CDs or books, which are popular gifts for the occasion.
“There is also room for retailers of relatively newer forms of entertainment, such as video game specialists, to better engage in Father’s Day.”
And, while Carroll points to entertainment, one of the gifts of choice for Father’s Day to date has been alcohol and, more specifically, whisky.
WHISKY AND SPIRITS
Father’s Day is the second largest sales peak for whisky outside of Christmas, so for retailers it’s a good way of attracting new shoppers into the category.
This year Diageo GB has announced activity in the run-up to June for its Haig Club and Johnnie Walker brands.
“The classic Haig Club white gift box will be back on shelves in time for Father’s Day, following a successful Christmas gifting period,” says Nick Temperley, head of Diageo Reserve GB.
“The beautiful box creates added appeal and impact in a growing category, ensuring consumers can easily spot the distinctive shape and colours associated with Haig Club.”
The Haig Club gift box has a recommended retail price of £45.
Temperley notes that, in addition to the gift box, Haig Club is available in a 5cl format called The Wee Dram.
“The charming smaller bottle has a £4.50 rrp, enabling a broader range of consumers to give their dads something special this Father’s Day.”
Meanwhile, luxury blended whisky Johnnie Walker Blue Label has a 20cl limited-edition gift box, which Diageo is also recommending for Father’s Day.
“The smaller size provides a lower entry point for consumers to trial the liquid, as well as offering a more affordable gifting option at £58,” says Temperley.
In addition to whisky, suppliers report that there are good sales for super-premium spirits in the run up to Father’s Day.
“It’s an important occasion for drinks brands and it’s becoming a bigger focus for retailers to drive footfall,” says Matthew Sykes, EMEA marketing director at Patrón Spirits International.
“Consumers are definitely spending more, retailers are responding to it and making it a bigger occasion, and consumers are reacting to it.”
Sykes says the company is keen to convey that some of the Patrón tequilas are a great alternative to whisky or bourbon, which are the more traditional spirits linked to Father’s Day.
“Patrón Anejo, for example, is just one expression within our portfolio that is the perfect whisky alternative to sip on and wouldn’t sit out of place in the drinks cabinet of any discerning whisky connoisseur,” he says.
TOP TIPS - MERCHANDISING
“Retailers should stock a selection of whiskies, including those that are up and coming in the category – this will help them appeal to a wider audience,” says Diageo Reserve GB’s Nick Temperley. “Consumers will be more aware of Scotch whiskies that have a big presence in the media, so when focusing on in-store marketing retailers should push brands that are causing a stir and are widely recognised, such as Haig Club, in order to meet demand.
“Staff should have a good knowledge of the products they are stocking so they are able to give recommendations and encourage trade-up, especially with premium brands such as Johnnie Walker Blue Label, as they tend to have an engaging heritage and story to tell.”
Matthew Sykes from Patrón says Father’s Day is a trading-up opportunity for stores. “Retailers should emphasise and focus on quality and give consumers a reason to buy into gifting super-premium spirits as a treat.”