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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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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