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Master of Malt Trends Bulletin – February 2020
Slipknot No.9 Whiskey
28 February 2020 We’re back for 2020! After a brief hiatus for January (Christmas does throw a bit of a spanner in the works when it comes to looking at trends), we’re back for a bulletin taking in the goings-on in the month that was. In this instalment, we’re checking out growth in pre-bottled cocktails, Armagnac, and glassware!

Pre-bottled cocktails: This was a significant one for us. January, traditionally the month where people dial it back a bit, recorded a whopping +229% upswell in bottled cocktail volumes compared to 2019. That’s no flash in the pan. So what’s going on? This can be explained in a number of ways. Simply that there are more variants on offer than ever is going to boost things. But we think there’s more to it than just this. Consumer perceptions are changing – and rapidly. No longer are pre-bottled cocktails seen as cheap(er), more sugary shortcuts. There’s genuine deliciousness out there, and consumers know to look out for it (and potentially how to ‘cheat’ at pre-dinner party drinks, too…).

Armagnac: Armagnac recorded a bit of an unexpected uptick in January. Traditionally December is the French brandy’s time to shine, and this was indeed true this year – December 2019 was the category’s most successful month ever for us. But this year, the momentum seems to have continued into January, which posted volume gains of 47% compared to the same month in 2019. Why? We’re not sure there’s any one reason, but looking back over the past five years, there’s a clear upward swing. Perhaps less of a trend, but definitely one to watch.

Fancy glassware: Not a liquid product trends as such, but this is one development we can ignore no longer. Our customers really like fancy glassware! The Glencairn glass is a long-standing favourite, and crystal tasting glasses are always fun. But there’s a new receptacle on the block that is causing quite the stir. The Retro Fizz 1910! Elegant and classy, it’s a product that’s helped our January 2020 glassware sales rocket by a whopping 419% compared to the same month in 2019. Whether it’s for at-home serves or treat-yo’self vibes, people are certainly investing in their booze cabinet glassware.

January’s product of the month was… Slipknot No.9 Whiskey!
Fans of heavy metal band Slipknot were delighted in January when the group released their very own expression in the UK before taking to the stage at London’s 02. And for us, it was a successful case study when it comes to teaming up with a brand for a social push around a time-sensitive launch! Shoppers in their hundreds snapped up bottles to take to the show and have signed by the band – and it propelled the bottling to be our top-selling SKU for the month. Success all round!

That’s all for this month – but if you need any further insights, data or commentary, our expert analytics and editorial teams are on-hand to help. Just get in touch!