Group of friends having aperitivo occasion drinking aperol spritz

In the April issue of National Liquor News, Dan Hughes investigates how to make the most of the Aperitivo occasion in the cooler months.

With the cooler months and variable conditions upon us, so too is the chance to heighten your customers’ at home events. An aperitif can do just that and is slowly garnering more traction in Australia as a product to enjoy all year round.

Aperitif beverages are traditionally of low alcohol percentage and are generally served before a meal to stimulate the appetite. In recent years, this has become a staple for home events, and with home gathering restrictions continuing to ease, it is now even more crucial to understand what local and international options within this category can offer to your shoppers.

Spritz up events

According to Campari, the Aperitivo occasion has become an especially nice tradition in winter when nights get darker, earlier.

“Unlike dinner which centres around the meal, Aperitivo centres around the drinks, and the food takes a second seat. Food pairing can be as simple as a bowl of chips, nuts or some olives or as extensive as a full charcuterie board. The important thing to note is that you still need to have room for that delicious meal so less is often more for this occasion,” explained Marketing Director, Paolo Marinoni.

“The drinks paired at this time are also important. Whilst classic Italian wine is a popular choice, the real Aperitivo hosts serve drinks which have a ‘bitter’ flavour note as bitter flavours open up your appetite for dinner. This is because bitters affect the central nervous system, which signals the gut to release digestive hormones that stimulate appetite.”

Consumer interest in the Aperitivo movement during the pandemic has generated a buzz in the numbers, with retailers reporting an increase in sales of aperitif products throughout the last year. This will continue to increase if positioned correctly during online and in-store experiences.

“Retailers that are driving this category are including ‘how to menus’ at point of purchase to educate shoppers on how to make these famous drinks like the Aperol Spritz, along with content on their websites with video on cocktail recipes. This content especially drives purchase when the product choices are on the page ready for shoppers to add straight into your basket,” Marinoni explained.

“Along with sampling in store so that shoppers get to taste these delicious new drinks, when the sampling agencies pair aperitifs with chips or olives, it creates an intuitive connection to food pairing in a shoppers mind.”

Education key to growth

Danilo Migliorini, Spirits Platform Brand Ambassador Tia Maria and Disaronno, said education with retailers about aperitif serving suggestions will play an important role in the growth of Australian Aperitivo events.

“One idea is for retailers to provide booklets with simple cocktail and snack recipes and suggestions that home consumers may enjoy an Aperitivo at their own houses, like if they were in a bar,” Migliorini said.

“Here in Australia, the pandemic has been compressed, people more than ever are keen to go out, even for a simple Aperitivo, to be socialising amongst their community once again. For those wishing to entertain at home we identify the perfect and refreshing drink for an Aperitivo; Disaronno Fizz, made with Disaronno, lemon juice and soda water and recommend serving it with cheese platters and cured meats boards.”

Read the rest of this feature, including useful tips and tricks for retailers, in the April issue of National Liquor News.

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