St. Catharines and the Niagara Benchlands are home to international award winning VQA wines, Niagara’s best craft beer producers and some of best culinary experiences in Ontario. To best highlight over 60 craft and culinary destinations over the busy holiday season, the “Jingle Bar”, a pop-up shop over three weekends, opened at the Outlet Collection of Niagara, featuring 20, select wine, beer and cocktails providers, food, a bottle shop, and daily holiday hosting and meet the maker seminars
The Outlet Collection of Niagara is the Region’s busiest mall, and the pop-up lounge was the perfect place for weary shoppers to stop and recharge with a drink and a snack, hosting over 5,800 unique visitors. The bottle shop offered hassle free access to terrific, local product all in one place with 471 bottles sold.
Staffed with hospitality experts, guests were given information about the participating partners, pushing them back out to partner locations for more intimate experiences.
The Jingle Bar supported economic recovery by strengthening the relationships between partners and producers who collaborated to create the unique and immersive experience showcasing the award-winning offerings in St. Catharines and the Niagara Benchlands.
Purpose of Project (including anticipated outcomes)
The purpose of the project was to create a unique experience for shoppers highlighting the destinations and providing them the opportunity to sip, taste and shop numerous award-winning wines, craft beer and culinary treats in one location. For stakeholders, the Jingle Bar was an opportunity for exposure in a high traffic, central, retail space.
The tourism and hospitality sectors have continued to struggle with staffing issues coming out of the pandemic. The holiday season is already a busy time of year and the ability to staff an off-site location was a challenge. To help with capacity issues, the municipalities worked with a local event team called ‘Host’ to coordinate and fill in the staff gapping.
The Jingle Bar’s short run also made raising awareness for the pop-up and its operating hours a challenge. A marketing strategy, including interactive and Instagram-worthy experiences with partners, such as a ‘meet the maker’ series, exclusive signature cocktails and products only available at St. Catharines and Benchlands wineries and craft breweries, leverage various platforms, including social media, media relations and word of mouth.
Participating partners promoted the Jingle Bar at their establishments, on their websites as well as social media and email newsletters. Digital support online and onsite was also provided by the Outlet Collection at Niagara to drive foot traffic to the pop-up shop.
Links to examples of social media posts
Target Audience (demographics)
• Greater Toronto Area, Hamilton-Oakville corridor, and Niagara Region
• Outlet Collection of Niagara consumers
• Wine and craft beer enthusiasts
• Industry partners