Blog: Chris MercerWill Aldi give Scotch whisky a headache?

Chris Mercer | 22 November 2011

Aldi has set a few hearts racing in the world of whisk(e)y by daring to sell a bottle of 40-year-old Scotch for just GBP49.99 (US$78), a sixth of its market value.

What an audacious marketing gimmick and what a walloping corker of a move for the Scotch industry to swallow. Obviously, not everyone thinks Glenbridge 40-Year-Old is a bad idea, because somebody has given Aldi the liquid - although we're not quite sure who, yet.

There are, though, going to be people out there who think this is beyond the pale. German discounters Aldi and Lidl have introduced a new dimension - a no-frills, cheap dimension - to food retailing in several countries, including the UK. This is much to the chagrin of some in the industry. Aldi's expansion into discount Scotch, then, will be greeted with a certain amount of suspicion, if not outright annoyance.

For a start, it asks all sorts of difficult questions. How much is 40-year-old Scotch really worth on average? Does the age matter, or does the marketing matter? Some of the early reviews of Glenbridge have been really rather positive. That said, it's hard to know whether this is the result of sound whisky-making or the reviewer's light relief at not imbibing something akin to 40-year-old battery acid. Expectations are everything in this game.

This is clearly a gimmick from Aldi and we're not about to see an influx of 40-year-old Scotch hitting its 450 stores on a regular basis. Only 3,000 bottles will be released this time.

In that context, I don't see the launch as negative. It might even do distillers a favour by giving consumers a glimpse of something better. Maybe, after trying this, they'll be more willing to spend a few more quid in the future.

 


BLOG

Diet Coke decline leaves Pepsi sitting pretty

Last year was tough for The Coca-Cola Co. So staff in Atlanta won't be pleased to read that Pepsi has overtaken Diet Coke as the no. 2 soda brand in the US. ...

BLOG

Net-buster kicks-off Budweiser 'Dream Goal' campaign - video

A bit of football fun for a Friday. Anheuser-Busch InBev has released the ad that will accompany its new Budweiser 'Dream Goal' campaign, that seeks to find the UK's best amateur goal. ...

BLOG

Are New York's craft beer fans any the (Bud)weiser?

No sooner had Anheuser-Busch InBev taken a gentle pop at the craft beer segment during February's Super Bowl, than the world's largest brewer has challenged the sub-category's target market in New Yor...

BLOG

The secret to a long life? Three cans of Dr Pepper a day - video

A few wry grins will have been raised in the offices of Dr Pepper Snapple Group today. ...

just-drinks homepage



Forgot your password?