Off-licences score impulse points

19 September, 2008

Q Supermarkets seem to have a stranglehold on all categories of the take-home drinks market. Is there a product area in which the specialists achieve greater sales than their bigger rivals?

A In a word: no. Supermarkets have a 67% share of the off-trade, according to volume figures from Nielsen for the year to Aug 9. The rest of the market is defined as "impulse" and includes independents, specialist chains and forecourt retailers.

There are a few product categories which exceed the impulse sector's average of 33%. Beer is one, at 35%, as a result of smaller shops' ability to offer chilled products. It's a similar story for cider, which achieves 42% of its volumes in the impulse arena. The sector also punches above its weight with vodka (39%).

The impulse sector's worst-performing categories include cream liqueurs (12% of volumes), sherry (15%), golden rum (17%), malt whisky (18%)

and British wine (8%).




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Talking terroir

When Bordeaux was in fashion, it seemed almost logical that we should fetishise winemakers. Here were people responsible for brilliant acts of blending, across large estates and multiple grape varieties, including superstars such as cabernet sauvignon and merlot. These days, fashion has moved on and pinot noir is ascendant. As a result, the star of the winemaker has fallen and we find ourselves following a new star in the sky: terroir.

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