The report reveals that as customers are getting more and more choice in what drinks they can purchase, their ideas on value are changing. Consumers are seeking out drinks that are unique in the way they are made, especially when it comes to premium brands of alcohol like limited edition whiskies. This is one of the reasons that premium spirits are driving market growth in the on trade, with value having risen by 13.7 per cent.
Pubs and bars can also benefit by offering interesting serves and personal touches, because consumers are not interested in the whole experience when they go out to drink, rather than just the alcohol.
Malt whisky and spiced and flavoured rums have seen strong value growth, with rum benefitting from its versatility and current popularity in cocktails. Gin is also performing well as a number of new brands have emerged recently, especially in the premium category which is growing more than six times faster than mainstream gin.
Marketing director of William Grant & Sons UK Gary Keogh said: “The market is more polarised than ever and it is premium brands which can really take advantage of this trend. Value can mean many things from functional benefits to packaging and personality, with brands such as Sailor Jerry and Hendrick’s really embracing and benefitting from the latter.”
In the pub
The research showed that customers are continuing to make fewer visits to pubs and bars. When they are out however, 79 per cent of drinkers surveyed consider buying spirits, the category that is driving the most growth for the on-trade.
It was also reported that 38 per cent of consumers use menus to confirm their drink choice rather than to make a new drink choice, but 77 per cent of them would welcome a recommendation of drinks from the bartender. Pubs and bars can make the most of this by staff training and working on their point of sale.