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Scottish hospitality missing out on estimated £40 million with non-event St Andrew’s Day

Glaswegian Masterchef The Professionals winner and Scotland’s National Chef, Gary Maclean

Brewing industry veteran and Scotland’s national chef call for revamp of the National Day

A LEADING brewing industry veteran and Scotland’s National Chef, Gary Maclean have called on the Scottish retail and hospitality trades to get behind a new campaign to make the country’s National Day – St. Andrew’s Day – a major moment in the annual calendar.

Nigel McNally who spearheaded the trade rebirth of St. George’s Day in England – and who bought and re-engineered the Glasgow brewed beer brand Kestrel in 2012 – estimates that Scotland’s supermarkets and local retailers alongside beleaguered pubs, bars and restaurants could be missing out on turnover of up to £40 million by not focusing promotional attention on St. Andrew’s Day.

It is estimated that St Patrick’s Day contributes an annual 58.3m euros to the Irish economy. It attracts a spend of $5.14 billion annually in the US alone.

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Glaswegian Masterchef The Professionals winner and Scotland’s National Chef, Gary Maclean said: 

“Our industry has gone through hell from lockdowns to a recovery coming in fits and starts and now with the cost-of-living crisis, rising energy and produce costs, the sector could do with a proper shot in the arm. St. Andrew’s Day has been neglected in the shadow of Burns and Hogmanay, but it’s our National Day and it seems mad not to make more of it. I believe our hospitality and retail sectors have real opportunities here and I want to do whatever I can to reshape our relationship with St. Andrew.”

McNally, drove a ten-fold increase in sales for the English premium bitter brand Bombardier on the back of St. George’s Day in the 1990s. He believes there has never been a better time to make the most of Scotland’s National Day.

“By Scottish standards, St. Andrew’s Day is a relative non-event and at a time when figures show that UK pubs lost £5.7bn of revenue from beer sales in 2021 and the retail sector remains in recovery mode with rising prices and supply chain issues, it’s time to do something about re-imagining what the National Day should look like. We know from experience that we need to galvanise the trade, make some noise and seize the opportunity staring us in the face,” said McNally.

The Kestrel Beer Co is launching a programme of special St. Andrew’s Day promotions and deals backed by a nationwide marketing campaign to elevate the focus on the country’s National Day which is dwarfed by both Burns Night and traditional Hogmanay celebrations in Scotland.

Partnerships are already in place with ASDA, a range of Scottish independent and convenience stores and in the on-trade with select outlets across the Scottish pub estate.

The 80s icon lager – a finalist in this year’s Scottish Beer Awards – now comes in 5%, 7% and 9% ABV variants and is shortly to be relaunched in both new look cans and on draught.

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