RETAILERS should look beyond the home to community groups who hold Burns Suppers for sales around the big event on January 25, advises James McSween, managing director of haggis company McSween.
He said: “This can also be a great opportunity for building relationships within the local community by supplying schools with the necessities they need to host a brilliant Burns Supper.”
Since its first celebration in 1801, Burns Night has become a global event and, McSween says, provides the perfect opportunity for retailers to get their business involved in a historic, cultural tradition.
He continued: “Displays can be set up in the form of a traditional Burns Supper table, complete with tartan tablecloth and haggis.
“Within the displays it’s a good idea to highlight the variety of product available such as the vegetarian and gluten-free haggis.”
McIntosh of Strathmore agrees that choice is key for a successful Burns Night.
Marketing manager Sarah McDonald explained: “This is the busiest time of the year for us and we are looking to sell over 400,000 haggis meals over the Burns period.”
This year, McIntosh is bringing back its limited-edition Wee Burns Supper and Wee Vegetarian Burns Supper packs as well as its Haggis & Mince pies.
McDonald added: “Our Poetry in a Pack products offer everything you need for a perfect Burns Supper in minutes.”
Throughout January, McIntosh is running a comprehensive TV and radio marketing campaign for Burns Night.
McDonald said: “Our campaign will be supported with a full social media campaign and online competitions, connecting our brand with Burns Night.”
• Neeps and tatties expert Mash Direct picked up the SME of the year prize at the Festival of Business Awards. Speaking after the presentation, director Jack Hamilton said: “It means a lot to me and my family that our achievements are being recognised at a national level.
“It has been such an interesting day, with inspirational speakers and thought-provoking seminars specifically designed to help SMEs develop and expand.”
This is the latest in a string of recent awards for the family farm including Jack Hamilton being named businessman of the year twice.