|Demand for premium spirits at all time high|
|Written by Laura Heywood|
|Friday, 13 July 2012 11:45|
The premium spirits category is the one to watch with sales up double-digit figures in both the on and off-trade, and malt whisky and Cognac taking the biggest value share.
That's according to First Drinks, which yesterday released its in-depth Market Report looking at the current trends and dynamics impacting the UK on and off-trade based on data from CGA Strategy and Nielsen.
Sales of spirits priced at £23 and above are booming, the report showed, with the category outperforming the total GB spirits market in both the on and off-trade. In the take home market, premium spirits are worth £158 million, up 10% on the previous year, and in the on-trade the category is worth £341 million, up 29%.
Claiming the title of most popular premium spirit is malt whisky, which occupies a 64.4% value share of the total off-trade premium spirits category, while Cognac takes a 13.1% share.
First Drinks also found 11% more consumer bought premium spirits versus last year. "The way we drink now is more sophisticated than at any other time," said managing director Chris Mason.
Cocktails are another thriving trend, according to First Drinks, with demand growing consistently over the last five years and 76% of on-trade outlets currently reporting equal or increased cocktail sales on last year.
In the on-trade cocktails are sold in one in five outlets, compared to just 16% last year, and it's predicted cocktail consumption will grow by over 10% in the next two years. But First Drinks warned that training is key, with only 23% of outlets currently taking advantage of training from suppliers and brand ambassadors.
"Cocktails remain a massive sales driver for the on-trade," said Jon Collins, CGA Strategy's chief operating officer, "in fact CGA's latest survey found that 87% of drinkers consider cocktails as part of their drinks repertoire."
In the off-trade, rum is the favourite base spirit for cocktails for both men and women, although the spirit is more highly favoured by women.
The report also found the classic Mojito is still the number one cocktail, and consumers are prepared to pay between £5.01 and £7 for a cocktail.
Overall the GB beer, wine and spirits market is worth over £37 billion, up 3%. The on-trade is currently worth £22.7 billion, up 3%, and the off-trade is worth £14.6 billion, up 4%.
Spirits is the number two sub-category in BWS in the on-trade and number three sub-category in the off-trade.
First Drinks added that online shopping in the UK has taken off faster than anywhere in Europe with 26% penetration - representing a massive opportunity for the spirits category. Sales from internet retailing are expected to double in the next ten years, it said.
The company also revealed details of a number of new campaigns and initiatives under way this year. These include The Glenfiddich Walking with the Wounded sponsorship; new advertising campaigns for Green Mark and Żubrόwka; a major on-pack activity for Grant's with its Find my Past campaign; new packaging for Glenfiddich 21 Year Old, Tullamore Dew, Tia Maria and Mateus; and the launch of Rémy Martin's VSOP Mature Cask Finish.