Craving for socialisation post Covid has spurred premium trend in spirits, says Diageo’s Cristina Diezhandino

Cristina Diezhandino, global chief marketing officer, Diageo, talks to Storyboard18 at Cannes Lions, the epicentre of creativity.

By  Storyboard18Jun 30, 2023 10:00 AM
Craving for socialisation post Covid has spurred premium trend in spirits, says Diageo’s Cristina Diezhandino
Diezhandino also delved into the trend of sober curious where on many occasions people want to socialise without alcohol.

Cristina Diezhandino, global chief marketing officer, Diageo says that the premiumisation trend is gaining momentum in the spirits category with people craving for socialisation more after the Covid pandemic. “The world of premium spirits is an exciting category. It is embedded in the world of socialisation. Post Covid, people have been craving for socialisation and celebration all the more. This category plays a phenomenal role in this context,” Diezhandino told Storyboard18’s editor Delshad Irani at Cannes Lions 2023.

In a candid chat, Diezhandino spoke on key trends and insights in the alcohol category and how Diageo is leveraging AI.She revealed that premium trends have been gaining momentum for a while and people are choosing the higher end of this particular category more. People are observing and valuing the quality of these liquids, she said.

Diezhandino also delved into the trend of sober curious where on many occasions people want to socialise without alcohol. For a long time, the alternatives to alcohol weren’t attractive to people as they did not quite give people the experience that alcohol gives. Considering this, Diageo created non-alcoholic spirits ensuring that liquids having no alcohol deliver the same experience as their alcoholic counterparts.

Local challenges

Diezhandino said Diageo manoeuvres and navigates local, cultural and hyperlocal challenges to ensure it still delivers its proposition despite having limitations in media for advertisements. In every market, Diageo has real expertise to deal with the circumstances while ensuring that people enjoy the brand in a way that is attuned to the legislation.

Diageo understands the value of instrumentality and that technology keeps evolving, and therefore it keeps on layering the technology it has incorporated, she said. “AI is helping us gather insights on connecting points between consumers and brands. AI will not take over human creativity, certainly not now but it does help brands operating at a global level in local circumstances. AI helps us create content that can be applied in the right way for different geographies,” Diezhandino said.

Diageo also believes in connecting the dots between purpose and profits. “Purpose is so intertwined with the nature of Diageo’s business. We have created this programme ‘Raising The Bar’ where we gave away 100 million dollars globally to help people adapt to their circumstances,” Diezhandino said.

Diageo also has a Society 2030: Spirit of Progress 10-year ESG plan where the focus is on sustainability, positive drinking and diversity & inclusion. For example, on sustainability, Diageo realised that a part of the footprint has to do with agriculture and therefore decided to engage with farmers in Ireland through its brand Guinness.

Watch out for the full conversation on CNBC-TV18.

(Complied by Indrani Bose)

First Published on Jun 27, 2023 5:19 PM

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