Pernod Ricards Gutenberg spirits dispenser for at-home cocktails

Pernod Ricard's Gutenberg spirits dispenser for at-home cocktails

With the global financial crisis came two (well-worn) adages: people don't go out as much and, when they do, they expect more in terms of value and quality.

For drinks companies, that means adding value to the "at-home occasion". Just like you can hire caterers to sort the food, you can now hire a drinks company to sort the drinks. Some even do both.

At Pernod Ricard's annual Capital Market Day earlier this week, the company talked about five channels, rather than the traditional three. As well as on-trade, off-trade and Travel Retail, e-commerce is now big news. And, so is 'home-trade'.

In the US, Pernod offers events services and in Colombia, direct-to-home selling is in play - complete with catalogues. In Mexico, meanwhile, the company has already started a "full service offer" from organising drinks and bartenders to assisting with the right music. On a smaller scale, cocktail kits and home cocktail dispensers such as Project Gutenberg continue to be innovation platforms for the company.

They are not the only ones to do it - Diageo looked to kill both the e-commerce and 'home-trade' bird with one stone when it launched Alexander & James in the UK in 2013. You can buy a bottle of gin or go the whole hog with an Alexander & James-hosted event, starting at GBP2,000 (US$3,065). They even teamed up with a butcher to offer a barbecue package - whole hog potentially included.

Although the concept is still in its early stages at Pernod, global business development director Conor McQuaid said: "There is no question that there is an openness and a willingness of people to enhance that social moment at home and they may be a little bit fearful about how to throw a great party."

Have no fear, home-trade is here.