Baileys back on track as cream of the crop

05 September, 2008

For a while there things were looking a bit wobbly

but, after two years of sliding sales, the Baileys brand is back on track.

Although an increase in value sales of 2 1% looks great on paper, it only represents a return to roughly where the brand was a couple of years ago.

A much higher increase in volumes

- of more than third - suggests that price promotions played a part in getting the brand

was a couple of years ago.

A much higher increase in volumes, of more than a third, suggests

price promotions played a part, though Diageo has invested heavily in

packaging and advertising

to boost sales around Easter, Mother's Day and through the summer.

Despite another poor summer weatherwise, Pimm's

also recovered some of its losses in 2007, though not enough to wrest the number two position in the category from Southern Comfort.

The Bacardi-owned brand tried to take mixing ideas from the on-trade into the take-home arena, selling pitcher packs to get people drinking it with lime and ­lemonade .

Plenty of activity for Malibu too, again with

positive results. Pernod Ricard has pledged £14 million in advertising and other support over two years, hot on the heels of a revamped look for the brand.

First Drinks Brands' Disaronno was another to make rapid gains in sales, boosted by a £2 million pre-Christmas ad campaign and activity around London Fashion Week.

Moving ahead of Archers and Cointreau now looks like a realistic ambition for the brand.

Liqueurs & specialities in the off-trade

Value: £377 million

(2007: £343 million)

Change: +10%

Volume: 306,000hl (2007: 276,000hl)

Change: +11%

Source: Nielsen year to Aug 9 2008

Top 10 liqueur and speciality brands

1 Baileys +21%

2 Southern Comfort +11%

3 Pimm's No 1 +14%


Malibu +10%


Vodkat +66%


Tia Maria +3%


Archer's Peach Schnapps +2%


Cointreau +9%


Disaronno +29%


Irish Meadow +12%

Star performer

Sometimes in marketing

the simple ideas  are the most successful.

Adding a "T" to the word vodka when naming its 22% abv vodka-based liqueur is suddenly looking like a stroke of genius

by Intercontinental Brands.

Within a couple of years of launch, Vodkat has overtaken established brands

such as Tia Maria and Drambuie, and made fellow new arrivals like Sourz and Amarula look like


Though it's unlikely, another 66% increase in sales in the year ahead would take it a further 10 places up the spirits league table,

somewhere on a par with Martell.

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