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First Drinks publishes 2nd trend report

First Drinks has published its annual market report which looks at the spirits and champagne categories in the UK.  The second report of its kind released by the company, takes a look at current trends and dynamics impacting the on and off-trade.  Focusing on category and brand performance and key growth drivers, the report highlights the continued role of premium brands.

The company has outlined the following key findings from the report:

•  The impact of the economic climate:  During these tough times, consumers are reacting in one of two ways; trading up and buying less or trading down and buying more

•  The importance of authenticity: The revival of an interest in craft, tradition, heritage and provenance and the importance of an authentic story in building premium brands

•  Flavour and experimentation: An enthusiasm amongst drinkers for taste and flavours and the rising trend in experimentation, particularly in the on-trade

•  Online shopping: Online shopping in the UK has taken off faster than anywhere in Europe with 26% penetration – retailers need to embrace this opportunity

•  The convenience channel: The growth in convenience shopping and the prediction that the channel will grow by more than £10bn in the next four years - rising fuel costs mean that consumers are shopping locally to save money

•  Cocktails: The increased interest in cocktails – cocktail consumption is set to grow by over 10% in the next two years as 76% of on-trade outlets report equal or increased cocktail sales year on year

•  Gifting: With spirits accounting for one in three of all alcohol gift purchases, gifting remains crucial for the off-trade – accessibility is key with the need for solutions across all price points

•  Value: Whilst price is definitely a key factor for consumers, quality is also important.  Value across all price points is increasingly important to shoppers

•  Events: Uplifts in profit of around 20% have been witnessed by retailers during major events and special occasions, for all areas of the trade this highlights the importance of getting the timing right on key activations throughout the year

•  Policy: The impact of policy and regulations on promotions continues to affect the trade. Maintaining accessibility will be central to continued growth. As the average unit price increases, growth in smaller spirit pack such as 35cl and 50cl has been witnessed

First Drinks is a leading supplier of premium spirits in the UK.  This year, the company has introduced four new brands to its vodka portfolio – Green Mark, Żubrόwka, Reyka and Kauffman – and has a number of new campaigns and initiatives under way this year including:

•   The Glenfiddich Walking with the Wounded sponsorship
•   Advertising campaigns for Green Mark and Żubrόwka
•   Major on-pack activity for Grant’s with its ‘find my past’ campaign  
•   New packaging for Glenfiddich 21YO, Tullamore Dew, Tia Maria and Mateus
•   The launch of Rémy Martin VSOP Mature Cask Finish


1 July 2012 - Felicity Murray