Close Menu

Retail: White Spirits – White Heat

The white spirits category has spent comparatively little time on promotion – and volume and value have grown

The value of white spirits over the past year has grown considerably, appearing to be driven by growth in volume sales and a small reduction in average price for all but gin. The average amount bought per buyer for all white spirits has experienced remarkable growth. However, despite there being an overall reduction in price, the white spirits market has lost a considerable number of buyers, especially white rum buyers. It is not, however, as surprising that a substantial reduction in gin buyers has occurred, since this spirit has grown in price. The majority of this loss in gin buyers is accounted for by own label, decreasing by 13.2%, and its growth in average price.

White spirits spent the least time on promotion over the whole year compared to the other two key sectors within the market, beer and wine, which tend to be promotionally focused. Especially over the summer months, white spirits noticeably drop their promotional activity, which has dragged the buyer numbers down for the whole year. The drop in activity of TPR (Temporary Price Reduction) is the key factor influencing the decision not to buy.

Tesco was the most successful of the major retailers over the latest year, taking 28% of the spend on white spirits. Tesco overtrades in vodka and gin, while all the supermarkets, bar Tesco and Somerfield, overtrade in white rum.  In all the key supermarkets, own-label vodka was the most popular white spirit. However, in terms of gin sales, there was a clear split between retailers as to sales of own label and Gordon’s gin.

Smirnoff Red vodka is still the most popular white spirit brand, and it is interesting to see that vodka, gin and white rum brands sit at first, second and third places respectively. However, this is the only time a white rum features in the top 10 white spirit brand list. Only gin brands, Bombay Sapphire and Greenalls have moved up the league table.

TNS is a leading global provider of market information. We provide research, advice and insight on market segmentation, advertising and communications, new product development and brand performance. The TNS data is based on our continuous panel of 15,000 households. TNS tracks the alcohol purchases across all major grocery multiples and co-ops. For further information, please contact David Buckley, business director for TNS Superpanel on 020 8967 1513

© db August 2006

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No