SOUTH AFRICA – Prevailing tough economic conditions in South Africa are changing consumers drinking habits, becoming more selective especially on spirits, says Paul Scanlon, managing director of Pernod Ricard in South Africa and Namibia.

According to a report by Fin24, Scanlon said that the consumers are shifting into outlets that are “more accessible and reasonably priced”.

However, he highlights one of the general trends in the South African market as increasing in popularity and consumption of gin among the premium spirits category.

“It is encouraging to see both local craft gins as well as international brands succeeding. This is mainly due to the enormous versatility of gin and its appeal for all ages and genders,” says Scanlon.   

Pernod Ricard is a premium spirits and champagne company providing brands such as Jameson, Absolut, Ballantine’s, G H Mumm, Martell, Chivas Regal, The Glenlivet and, more recently, gins such as Monkey 47 and Malfy.

“In general, we need to find the right balance between building long term equity for our brands and being successful at the point where the consumer purchases the drink or bottle,”  Scanlon notes.

Based in France, the company has a de-centralised business model which allows it, as an affiliate market, to adopt a consumer-centric approach to marketing and doing business in several African nations.

In South Africa, the company has been operating for more than 25 years and has 12 affiliates across sub-Sahara Africa- which has become a major area of expansion for the group.

Pernod Ricard appoints Chivas Regal agency

Pernod Ricard has awarded its longstanding agency, Publicis Machine, to manage the Chivas Regal whisky brand in South Africa.

“Our motivation behind the decision comes down to the successful partnership we’ve forged with the agency,” says Sibu Shangase, head of marketing for Pernod Ricard South Africa’s Whisky Portfolio. 
“Publicis Machine has managed two of our premium liquor brands since 2015, the Glenlivet Whisky and Martell Cognac.

The agency has demonstrated a strong commitment to our business that has led to some groundbreaking work on both brands,” adds Shangase. 

Meanwhile, John Beale was recently appointed as head of communications of Pernod Ricard South Africa.

He will responsible of overseeing paid media, digital marketing, social media community and content as well as public relations for all brands, including Pernod Ricard Corporate.