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The value of the white spirits market has fallen, while prices of dark spirits have risen, softening the overall spirits sales decline

The value of the white spirits market has fallen by 3.6% this year, chiefly as a result of shoppers buying less frequently. The impact of this within the wider spirits market has been softened by a larger general rise in dark spirit prices, bringing the overall spirits sales decline to -1.1%.

Vodka, the largest sector in the white spirits category with a 56% share of sales, has seen sales fall slightly compared to last year. Gin saw gains made from an increase in popularity negated as average purchase frequency also fell, indicating that on average the additional 150,000 households to buy gin this year tended to be lighter buyers. Overall, white rum spend was down 13.5%, with purchase frequency falling to a level where the average white rum shopper now buys once every 2.5 months.

Pimms’ fortunes contrast strongly with those of white spirits as a whole, with sales up nearly 11%. Although less dramatic than the previous year’s growth figure of 21.3%, this growth represents a significant achievement in sustaining growth within a wider market suffering a decline.

This performance was driven by shoppers buying both more often and in greater quantities with the average trip volume now up to one litre. This comes on the back of increased promotional activity and effective advertising.

Of all the white spirit sectors, Pimms experiences the most pronounced summer sales uplift with its share of the white spirits category spend peaking at 11% in July last year, compared to 0.4% in March of the same year.

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 25,000 households. TNS tracks the alcohol purchases across all major grocery multiples and co-ops. For further information, please contact Tom Pattinson, business director for TNS Worldpanel, on tel: 020 8967 4967

© db August 2007

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