It’s not just a drink; it’s a sensory experience

Last week we were excited to be invited along to a customer Inspiration Day hosted by our client, Red Bull, at the Union Club in Soho. The aim of the day was to inspire and challenge the senses, as well as guests’ perceptions of how Red Bull performs in the on-trade.

To kick off the day we were provided with the elements to create our own bespoke cocktail in a ‘lunch queue’ format, followed by a session in ‘The Lab’ learning all about molecular cocktails and food explosions. Next up, food historian Tasha Marks, from AVM Curiosities™ explored the history of functional beverages – who knew in the 1600’s there was a women’s petition against coffee?

Finally, in our favourite session of the day, hosted by drink specialists Sweet and Chilli, our perceptions were challenged with a blindfolded task demonstrating the differing influence of the senses on a product experience. It was a true eye opener!

At the end of the day, a panel discussion featured representatives from NTIA and some on-trend operators debated and discussed the challenges in its channel.

James Douglas of Red’s True BBQ, highlighted competition as the biggest challenge. With new outlets opening all the time, they have to work extra hard to maintain relevance and brand loyalty. With the average consumer having 20 drinks in their repertoire and 20% of under 24’s in the UK claiming to be teetotal the business has been working with Red Bull to revolutionise its drinks menu. To meet this demand, Red’s has been encouraging its bar staff across its eight UK sites to create their own premium mocktails and cocktails, with staff getting a cut of the sales if their drink makes the menu.

The panel also highlighted cost increases as one of the core challenges for the channel in the coming months, especially with regards to price vs value and experience, with consumers expecting to get more yet pay less.

A fantastic day concluded with a delicious dinner created by Gingerline, a group of food and drink enthusiasts whose goal is to create the ultimate dining experience!

Overall we came away feeling inspired and motivated to discover emerging opportunities for Red Bull across the on-trade. It demonstrated that variety, theatre, sensory experience and presentation all have an equal part to play in customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

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