Consumers’ tastes change and mature

Peter Reynolds, senior client manager of Nielsen, warned that Britain is currently a nation in debt, that liquor is a luxury, and luxuries are the first to go when consumers have to economise.

He said that ros eacute; wine was delivering strong growth, despite light wines showing a loss of 1%, and that beer continues to dominate the independent sector.

“RTDs continue to lose share and there is little innovation in this category at present, certainly in comparison to recent years. As consumer tastes change and mature, yesterday’s RTD drinker is enjoying cider and ros eacute; wine today, providing a more mature sweet beverage.”

He said there were opportunities to drive premium pricing across vodka, gin and liqueurs. “The development of fractionals, or smaller bottle sizes not only helps encourage customers to trial. A relative premium can be charged for the smaller size thus maximising profit. Fractionals currently account for 3.5% of off trade spirit sales but 12.7% of independent spirit sales.”

Reynolds said he believed premiumisation in liquor was getting the consumer to pay more for less, or the same. “The key is to get your customers to trade up, whether that is through better sizes, cans, bottles, or dispense format, for example cold from the fridge.”

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