How are you boosting your beverage sales this winter?

As we all hunker down for the holiday season, consumers are looking for new ways to enjoy alcohol at home.

As we all hunker down for the holiday season, consumers are looking for new ways to enjoy alcohol at home.

Enter: alcohol-themed advent calendars. Whether the countdown is 24 days or 12, the buyer can look forward to trying a new beverage each day—beer, wine, cider, seltzer, spirits, mead, or more.

These "grown-up advent calendars" have been selling out in retail for years. But this year, their application is more relevant than ever to keep beverage sales up during the rough winter months.

You don't necessarily need months of planning to take advantage of this trend. Here are a few ideas to get started now:

1. DIY: Encourage customers to craft their own custom calendars to fill with your product. Etsy sells empty calendar boxes for 12-24oz cans, small bottles of wine or liquor, standard bottles of beer/cider, and even a matching bottle set.

2. BOGO: Set a promo for customers to buy 11 singles and get 1 free (which lends itself well to countdowns for 12 and 24 days)

3. MIX & MATCH: Does your location make beer, cider, mead, and more? Do your flavor profiles range from rich, sweet fruits to light, clean citrus? Remind customers that they can mix and match those styles for their calendars.

4. TRAVEL THEME: Do you use hops grown in various regions? Or maybe your graphic designs feature far-off places? We all wish we were traveling right now, so inspire your customers to join you on a travel-themed countdown.

5. 12 LUCKY FRUITS: In Filipino tradition, serving 12 types of round fruit is said to bring good luck for the New Year. If you have fruity beverages that fit the bill, encourage your customers to shop fruit-themed drinks for this tradition. Or start with Old Orchard's fruit list for inspiration.

6. COLLAB: Not enough bottles or cans for a 12- or 24-day countdown? Partner with another local craft beverage brand to combine forces and promote your products together. It's like a virtual bar crawl for your customers.

7. WRAPPING: Too late in the game for a fancy box? Make a display of single bottles/cans that look a little more festive. Add ribbons, bows, tags, or bottle holders that look like stockings.

8. CARE PACKAGE: Remind your fans to spread the Christmas cheer with a boozy care package for friends and family stuck at home. Post an example photo on social media of what that might look like (tissue paper and all).

9. FOOD PAIRING: Suggest various food pairings for customers to try with your countdown-beverages-of-choice. Kudos if you turn it into a virtual event via Facebook Live or Zoom.

10. SOCIAL COUNTDOWN: Post once a day for 12 or 24 days to count down on your social media page. Share fun facts about your various drinks, especially holiday-related information.

11. UGLY SWEATER PARTY: Since office Christmas parties are being canceled this year, your fans will need another outlet for their ugly Christmas sweaters. Invite them to wear theirs when they drop by to shop for their advent calendar goods.

12. STOCKINGS: Something won't fit in their advent calendar? Remind customers that no adult's stocking is complete without a bottle.


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