The digital shift is coming to Father’s Day, neat, as upscale spirits brands pick up on direct-to-consumer (DTC) momentum. Example: For the first time in the brand’s history, The Macallan Scotch is embracing the digital shift. It is partnering with eCommerce spirits distributor Thirstie Inc. to offer consumers the ability to purchase its storied single malt directly from the brand’s website.
That website will do double duty as a virtual watering hole for whisky aficionados to browse and shop the brand’s range of product with some extra perks such as gift packs and gift guides thrown in for Father’s Day. In honor of the launch the brand will also launch a charity effort to benefit the hospitality business, which has been decimated by the pandemic lockdowns. It will donate to the James Beard Foundation Open for Good campaign which “supports the rebuilding of a thriving independent restaurant industry through programs, education and financial resources.” In addition, Edrington, Macallan’s parent company, has donated to the USBG Bartender Emergency Assistance Fund, which supports bartenders displaced by the pandemic.
“With the launch of The Macallan E-Boutique, we have created an online destination for consumers to explore the world of The Macallan like never before. The innovative technology from Thirstie Inc., allows The E-Boutique to provide educational touchpoints, immersive technology and an accessible and shoppable experience all in a singular place,” said Samantha Leotta, The Macallan Americas brand director. “We look forward to launching this new platform while showing gratitude and support to our friends in the hospitality industry through our partnership with the James Beard Foundation.”
Thirstie claims to be the only fully compliant eCommerce technology for alcohol brands. It also functions as an interactive agency of sorts, executing targeted marketing campaigns and collecting data on the business for clients such as Macallan.
“Because alcohol brands haven’t had an eCommerce direct-to-consumer option previously, they’ve been missing out on valuable consumer insights,” says Thirstie CEO Devaraj Southworth. “Once you’re empowered with these types of analytics, you’ll be able track sources of traffic to determine the effectiveness of all your marketing campaigns. You as the brand are now able to analyze the purchasing journey and optimize your calls to action. And you’ll be able to monitor user data and purchase history as a means to re-engage with your customers.”
And if a bottle of Macallan won’t get it done for Father’s Day, how about a whole cask of Scotch? A Scotland-based company called Whiskey & Wealth Club has yet another business model for alcoholic beverages, offering private investors the opportunity to buy cask whiskey at ultra-wholesale prices. After purchase (or investment) the casks are stored in a secure warehouse to mature for at least five years. The company claims that during lockdown, investors have put £3.5m into cask whiskey. It says a total of 197.5 pallets were sold between March and May, an increase of 300 percent from 2019.
Scotch whisky in particular has become an attractive opportunity for investors. The company claims it is currently estimated to be worth £40m annually. May saw three quarters of Whiskey & Wealth Club’s total revenue generated by investors backing Scotch.
Whiskey & Wealth Club Co-Founder William Fielding says: “We have partnered with Scottish distilleries such as Bladnoch to offer our investors exclusive single malt Scotch releases. As whisky producers start to restrict the availability of single malt, the value and demand these will continue to increase. Hence, now is a great time for investors to purchase casks of whisky to sell in 10 years.”