Activation Gallery: BevAlc Category

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11/09/2021
Jacqueline Barba
Associate Editor | profile
Jacqueline Barba profile picture

The beverage alcohol (BevAlc) category has been interesting to watch over the past couple of years. The retail market boomed in 2020, partly due to the pandemic-driven increase in at-home consumption, though sales of some segments including wine and hard seltzers have since waned slightly. As the market continues to expand, consumers are continually seeking new innovations that fit their lifestyle, such as low-calorie options, hard seltzers and teas, ready-to-drink alcohol beverages and even low- to no-alcohol drinks. Brand marketers aren’t letting up on their in-store retail efforts, but are evolving and expanding with more digital experiences to help tell their stories and engage shoppers.

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a store inside of a building

An endcap display at a Niemann Foods’ Harvest Market stocked whiskey from Bardstown Bourbon Company and employed backlighting to illuminate a bottle from behind, highlighting the libation’s warm, caramel tones. Signs affixed to the display invited shoppers to scan a QR code to take a virtual tour of the brand’s distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky. The code directed shoppers to BardstownBourbon360.com to learn how the brand creates its whiskey. (SKUs from Chattanooga Whiskey Company and Stonewall Kitchen’s Tillen Farms Bada Bing Cherries were also merchandised on the display.)

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a store inside of a building

E. & J. Gallo Winery’s spirit-based hard seltzer brand, High Noon Sun Sips, commanded attention via case stacks topped with a corrugate palm tree at Harvest Market. A sign affixed to the tree encouraged shoppers to text “sunsips” to a promotional number to save $3 with every eight-pack purchase from the brand (maximum of three), or $5 for every 12-pack from the brand (maximum of two).

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a close up of a beverage in a cup

Anheuser-Busch is elevated the Michelob Ultra organic hard seltzer it launched in March with sponsored Pinterest pins spotlighting an alcoholic “peach on the beach” recipe and inviting users to “Shop the recipe.” A swipe up functionality on the branded ad directed users to dedicated “peach on the beach” search results within Albertsons Companies’ Jewel-Osco website — without exiting the Pinterest platform. The search results comprised all the fixings for the recipe: a variety pack of Michelob Ultra’s seltzer, a bottle of Bacardi rum light and a jug of private-label Signature Select cocktail cranberry juice.

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a group of people in a store

Header cards affixed to case stacks of Fifth Generation’s Tito’s Handmade Vodka at Harvest Market tied in to the start of football season by inviting shoppers to text “titostailgate” to a promotional number for entry into a sweepstakes awarding “game day gear,” such as a tent or grill.

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engineering drawing, website

Proximo Spirits, importer and distributor of Jose Cuervo tequila in the U.S., brought a national sweepstakes to Walgreens for the Cinco de Mayo holiday via QR codes that appeared on dedicated floorstands. The codes linked to an online quiz asking consumers to vote for their favorite type of margarita, as well as enter a sweepstakes that awarded five $500 unspecified gift cards. The site also provided related recipes and offered a $10 coupon for the purchase of two qualifying tequila items at retail, or $5 off a drink or bottle purchase on-premise.

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graphical user interface, website

Circle K merchandised individual cans of beer and booze from AB InBev and Molson Coors using a large rectangular dump bin that was filled with ice and separated the productd by brand. Affixed signage communicated three “Pick Any” deals – two 2-for-$5 offers and one 2-for-$4.

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graphical user interface

For Pride Month in June, Albertsons Companies’ Jewel-Osco supported the launch of a limited-edition, Pride-themed case of Molson Coors’ Vizzy hard seltzer using circular features and social media outreach. Touting a “Be vizzible for Pride” message, Jewel’s efforts spotlighted Vizzy’s new rainbow package, which was developed with Chicago-based design agency Soulsight and communicates a “Love your identity, live past labels” message. Marketing materials also highlighted the duo’s joint donation made to a Chicago-based nonprofit focused on LGBTQIA+ rights.

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a display in a store

Target stores indirectly tied in to March’s designation as Women’s History Month by grouping wines from various manufacturers on a dedicated endcap and spotlighting the women who helped make them. Multiple shelf cards positioned on the endcap spotlighted founders and executives alongside their respective wines, including Chandon winemaker Pauline Lhote; Claudia Manetta, export manager at La Marc; and Erica Blumenthal and Nikki Huganir, founders of Yes Way Rose (imported by Prestige Beverage Group). The signage contained QR codes directing shoppers to web pages or YouTube videos to learn more about both the wines and the women.

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Boston Beer Co.’s Samuel Adams drummed up support for its seasonal Octoberfest beer with displays at Meijer and Schnucks. At Meijer, the beer was stocked on pallet displays topped with a larger-than-life beer stein, while spectaculars promoted the lager at Schnucks.

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graphical user interface, website, calendar

TV screens at a Sam’s Club store in West Jordan, Utah, were showcased atop a pallet display merchandising Lieutenant Blender’s Cocktails in a Bag items. The screens played tiki bar-themed video tutorials using the cocktail mixes, which just require alcohol and water, as shelf trays pointed out.

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a bunch of items that are on display in a store

Official beer and wine sponsors of the PGA Tour’s 2021 Wells Fargo Championship, AB InBev’s Michelob Ultra and E. & J. Gallo Winery’s William Hill Estate in May erected a golf-themed spectacular at Kroger’s Harris Teeter in Charlotte, North Carolina. Case stacks from both brands, an “Enjoy like a pro” Michelob standee and an empty golf bag were positioned atop a branded green carpet near the meat section. Affixed signs plugged related brand efforts and the golf tournament. 

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Binny’s Beverage Depot in Plainfield, Illinois, recently united one of adult consumers’ favorite drink mixes: “Captain and Coke.” Near the store entrance, Binny’s merchandised 1.75 liter bottles of Diageo’s Captain Morgan in and on case stacks surrounding a Coca-Cola-branded rack stocking individual mini-cans from its flagship brand, Diet Coke, Coke Zero and Sprite.

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