Liquor Loot’s Advent Calendars experience growth

December 13, 2023
By Melissa Parker

Seven years ago, Liquor Loot started as a whisky subscription, expanding into tasting packs and Christmas Advent calendars.

The business has seen exponential growth in its Advent calendar sales, seeing a huge 35% increase YoY, prompting the company to expand its offering by 160% in 2023 to keep up with consumer demand.

Adult advent calendars have boomed in popularity, with alcohol Advent calendar sales accounting for a significant 13% of the advent calendar market share in 2022, successfully competing with market dominators like chocolate, tea and beauty calendars.

Drinks Trade talks to founder Joel Hauer about the success of this idea of a different spirit to taste for the 24 days until Christmas. Not only are they a great gift for the person with everything, they are also an ideal and affordable way to explore spirits and discover a favourite.

The consumer appeal

I think people want to have a variety of things to taste, not necessarily commit to one bottle, especially if they don’t drink that much. We offer a variety of different distilleries using different processes, resulting in different flavour profiles. We canvas many different regions in one box. People enjoy the variety. For the Japanese box, for example, who is going to find 24 Japanese whiskies to try and buy? It would cost an arm and a leg and take years to get through it all. Taste over a month. Find a favourite and go out and buy it.

The start of Liquor Loots’ Advent boxes

They began in 2019. It was an idea to promote the business during the October and November rush. It just flew for the first year. We went from 500 units in the first year to 2000 in the next year. And the following year was about 6000 units. So it flew off the shelves. Now, we’ve partnered with retailers like David Jones, taking quite a few of our advent boxes.

The big seller

This year, the Old and Rare was a shoot-from-the-hip idea, especially with the cost of living pressures. But we have a large internal database, and they typically spend quite a bit.

We had less than 50 of them, and they’re all sold out (at $999 per box), which is fantastic. The most popular in previous years has been our whisky Aussie calendar, and this year, that switched to the gin being the most popular. We’ve had an excellent response to the spirits pack as well. The Spirits pack includes everything from vodka to mezcal, rum to agave, whiskey and gin. It combines many different regions, varieties, distillation processes, and some sweeter ones and lower ABV- more cocktail-focused styles. We also have boxes with tonic as well.

The order matters

For the whiskies, we spend a lot of time focusing on which ones will be the first and last. For the gins and spirits, the numbering matches up to the tonics. We pair the tonics in the same numbers to make it a good match for the gin or the spirit.

The bottle size

Advent calendar spirit bottles are 30 mls – one drink. Our tasting packs are 60 mils.

Next for Liquor Loot’s Advent boxes

The market landscape is changing. The cost of living has seen our sales of the less expensive gin and spirits packs sell more volumes than the more expensive whisky. We were surprised this year that the gin overtook whisky. Before, we had big plans to export. Because they are so popular in Australia, other markets would be interested, which is potentially on the horizon, but we are being conservative for now.

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