The spirit to make an off-trade stake in

27 June, 2008

On the spirits front, Absolut has turned in the star performance and is perhaps ending years of relative under-achievement in the UK market. Pernod Ricard will find the brand in good shape in this country, thanks to the continued marketing support that Maxxium had provided and the array of flavoured variants that always seem to capture the imaginations of consumers.

It's a good time to be involved in vodka, which recently became the most important spirit in the off-trade after years of dominating the on-premise sector. Being positioned at the budget end of that market is also handy, given the economic circumstances. Glen's vodka has turned in one of its characteristically solid performances but, interestingly, Scotch stablemate High Commissioner has done even better in our chart.

Marketing support for Jack Daniel's never wavers, it seems, and its £68 million sales take the lion's share of the £120 million imported whiskey category. That 57% slice of the market looks set to increase, as Jack accelerates faster than the category as a whole. The brand is up 19% compared with 12% for the category generally.




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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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