Campari UK to dust-off Grand Marnier for the on-trade

Campari UK is looking to arrest the long-term decline of Grand Marnier in the UK by targeting the on-trade.

The French orange liqueur brand was acquired by Campari last year, but faces a battle to reverse stagnating sales overseen by previous distributor, Diageo.

Eighty per cent of the brand’s UK sales are currently in the off-trade, with sales growth moving at -9% in the 12 weeks to September 9, but +6% for the past four weeks.

Nick Williamson, marketing director of Campari UK, believes the brand could be revitalised in the on-trade: “We have a great track record of turning dusty brands around. We bought Grand Marnier to get it back into growth – our intension is double-digit growth.”

The Campari marketing director told Drinks International that the current consumer appreciation for quality, provenance and the broadening of cocktail culture provides a big opportunity for the brand which is stocked by 32,000 UK outlets, though currently in small volumes.

In response to these trends, Williamson said the brand will execute “simple messaging” around the liqueur – that it has a “rich flavour” and is made from “51% cognac”, making it a "trade-up" from other orange liqueurs.

When asked if cognac had the ‘cool factor’ necessary to win-over today’s consumers, he said: “Cognac comes across really strongly with consumers. Perhaps it’s not seen as ‘cool’ but it has an association with quality and a provenance story.”

The firm has created a series of serves designed to augmenting simple cocktails with the use of Grand Marnier – of which Grand Tonic (Grand Marnier instead of gin), Grand Collins, Grand Sidecar and Grand Margarita will be showcased during London Cocktail Week.