Retailer’s festive season catalogue offers eye-watering prices for luxury drinks

Retailer’s festive season catalogue offers eye-watering prices for luxury drinks
(Photo: PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay)

Makro says some of its pricey liquors are collector’s items. R44k for Klein Karoo ‘port’, anyone? Or a 50-year-old Glenfiddich for R600K?

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana and his Treasury Department might have delivered a grim mini-Budget, but South Africa’s spendthrifts are gonna spend, judging by the prices in Makro’s latest festive season premium liquor catalogue.

The annual catalogue yet again features some of the top names in international wine and spirits, including Glenfiddich, Hennessey, Macallan, Johnnie Walker, and an extra special fridge, filled with Champagne.

There’s a smattering of South African brands that can compete at that price level, including an aged De Krans Cape Vintage Reserve, as well as a range of gift packs.

In September, De Krans Wines in Calitzdorp was awarded the SA Champion Port-Style wine at the 2023 SA Young Wine Show, for the fourth consecutive year. Makro has a 2-pack of De Krans 33-Year-Old Cape Vintage Reserve. For R44,999, you could fly to George, stay over and pick up the only double pack in the country from the Calitzdorp estate.

Fridgeful of Veuve anyone?

Another collector’s item is a fridgeful of Veuve Clicquot: you could get 36 bottles of Yellow Label Veuve Clicquot for R89,999 – and keep the SMEG Fridge. One of two available in the country.

Makro has six bottles of limited-edition Macallan M Decanter Speyside Single Malt, which retails for R100,000. There are also six bottles of limited-edition Ardbeg 25-Year-Old Malt Whisky at R25,000, available for pre-order online. 

If you thought that was a bit steep, Makro has a few seriously steep prices too, for those who like to splurge: 

There’s a Glenfiddich’s 50-Year-Old Single Malt in a gift box, the only one in the country, for R600,000.

In second place, is Hennessey’s X.O Kim Jones Masterpiece collab, which retails for R500,000. The sculptural Hennessy X.O x Kim Jones Masterpiece is produced using 3D printing technology, and finished by hand.

Who’s Kim Jones, you might ask? He’s the artistic director of Italian fashion house, Fendi.

Makro will stock one of only three bottles in South Africa.

Mpho Thagisa, vice president of liquor at Makro, says these are investment pieces. “One customer took to Twitter [X] to explain that they had purchased a Glenfiddich 50-year-old special edition pack at Makro in 2013 for R300,000. They recently took the decision to auction the bottle in London, as it is now estimated to be worth almost R1-million.”

Historic value growth highs

Last year’s IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, released in November, said the first half of 2022 saw value growth of beverage alcohol reach historic highs, driven by a combination of post-pandemic pent-up demand and price increases.

A global leader in beverage alcohol data and analysis, the IWSR report indicated that volumes in premium-and-above price bands grew +7% in H1 2022 compared to H1 2019, across the 20 key markets, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, South Africa, the UK and US.

Tequila led the premium+ spirits growth in H1 2022, gaining more than 6% in volume terms on H1 2021, and +13% on H1 2019.

In April this year, IWSR Drinks Market Analysis showed that while consumers were spending less on alcohol in many markets, they were more selective about what they were drinking. “To allay the impact of the cost-of-living crisis, beverage alcohol consumers are becoming more selective in how and when they spend on alcohol,” said Richard Halstead, Chief Operating Officer of Consumer Insights, IWSR Drinks Market Analysis.

“After the pandemic, at-home drinking is still preferred, but there is a strong motivation to go out, just with less frequency and more mindfulness in alcohol consumption and spending.” DM


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