Leveraging regional trends in the alcoholic beverage category for Diageo

How we helped Diageo’s Eastern Europe business unit identify and leverage regional trends across the different categories

The challenge

Diageo, one of the world’s largest spirit and beer producers, needed an in-depth understanding of the holistic, overarching trends that are shaping consumer behavior. With over 200 brands enjoyed in 180 countries, it is important for the brand to understand how these trends relate to overall alcohol consumption.

By linking trends to the different categories within Eastern Europe, Diageo aims to steer their business strategy and to support optimal portfolio choices to drive value share growth.

Our solution

In order to truly understand and leverage regional trends in the alcoholic beverage category, InSites Consulting applied a three-step approach:

Step 1: identifying trends

To determine which trends are impacting consumption drivers across different alcoholic beverage categories, we engaged with leading-edge consumers from our global Illume Network. These Illume Guides represented different clusters of alcoholic beverages drinkers and explained the trends they see emerge. Next to this, they provided us with in-market examples of products and brands that are tapping into specific trends.

Step 2: validating trends

For each relevant market, we conducted an extensive quantitative study (with 600 category users per market) to validate the main trends in the category on specific KPIs (e.g., aspiration level, buying intent).

Step 3: linking innovations to trends

Through a second quantitative study (750 category users per market), we evaluated 12 innovations that were already in the regional pipeline. We also assessed which are capitalizing the most on the key trends per market.

The impact

Internal stakeholders at Diageo Eastern Europe are using the results in their business planning, and the research is seen as the backbone and foundation for their long-term strategy.

The combination of various research methodologies, both qualitative and quantitative, ensures that stakeholders not only understand the relevant trends but also know their impact in specific clusters and alcoholic-beverage categories. Leading-edge consumers provide an in-depth understanding of the relevant trends in their region by giving real-life in-market examples. The quantitative part with mainstream consumers proves the insights and makes them credible.

Consumers trends are not static, they change over time. This research also serves as a framework to monitor trends over time by regularly repeating the trend validation phase (i.e., step 2).

And finally, whenever new product ideas are developed, the framework can be used to assess the potential of new concepts and to make sure they tap into relevant trends (i.e., step 3).

“This research serves as the backbone and the foundation of our everyday work. It’s one of the most important researches since we established Eastern Europe as a new market, as it feeds into our marketing, activation and innovation strategies while educating our teams and our partners.”

Nikoletta Ábrányi, Senior Consumer & Shopper Planning Manager, Diageo Eastern Europe

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