FEATURE11 July 2019

Distilling data

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Asia Pacific FMCG Features Impact Retail

For a new whisky brand, launching in Australia required more depth than qualitative research could offer, so it turned to data-driven modelling to help it estimate how well the tipple would sell. By Katie McQuater


Scotch is no longer consigned as an old man’s drink. In recent years, distilleries have joined gin and rum makers in launching new brands as they look to target a younger demographic of drinkers.

Pernod Ricard-owned Chivas Brothers launched its Allt-A-Bhainne single malt in 2018. The product uses semiotic codes that aren’t typical of the single malt category, which historically trades on tradition and heritage – in contrast, the Allt-A-Bhainne distillery opened in the 1970s.

As such, Chivas Brothers wanted robust data to help it build confidence internally and secure marketing budget around the launch of the new whisky in the Australian market.

Rather than commissioning qualitative research, the company worked with insights agency Skim to produce a volumetric prediction model aimed at forecasting the brand’s potential success and highlighting marketing priorities.

“The client was looking to test the concept, profile the potential buyers for marketing purposes, identify key occasions that consumers would associate to this new single malt, and get a robust ...