Vodka to eclipse blends

16 November, 2007

Next year is likely to see vodka outselling blended Scotch in the off-trade for the first time, according to Nielsen data.

And 2008 is also likely to be the year in which the on-trade overtakes the take-home sector as the most valuable market for Champagne.

Statistics for the year to Oct 6 show a 7 per cent sales increase for light wine, and a 4 per cent rise in volume. Beer volumes were up 1 per cent but static in value terms and spirits up 3 per cent, with imported whiskey and golden rum achieving the biggest rise in sales.

Vodka is now within a whisker of catching blended whisky. Off-trade sales stood at £705 million, up 10 per cent, while blended Scotch reported a decline of 1 per cent to £735 million.

In the on-trade, vodka is already almost three times as big as blended and malt Scotch whisky put together.

The latest figures broken down

Position Category Sales value Change Off-trade's market share

1 Light wine £4,549m +7% 62%

2 Lager £2,726m +1% 25%

3 Blended whisky £735m -1% 67%

4 Vodka £705m +10% 37%

5 Cider £508m +28% 30%

Source: Nielsen take-home value sales data for year to Oct 6




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Lifting the spirits

I were to sum up alcohol sales over Christmas 2017 in one word, it would be “gin”. At Nielsen, we define the Christmas period as the 12 weeks to December 30 and in that time gin sales were £199.4 million, which means they increased by £55.4 million compared with Christmas 2016. There’s no sign the bubble is about to burst either. Growth at Christmas 2016 was £22.4 million, so gin has increased its value growth nearly two-and-a-half times in a year. The spirit added more value to
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