Pernod Ricard hails “resilient off-trade”, continued home cocktails and the rise of RTDs

Pernod Ricard has joined Diageo in highlighting the resilience of the UK off-trade in its latest set of results.

Pernod Ricard's UK’s off-trade performance in the six months to 31 December was driven by brands such as Jameson, Malfy Gin and Havana Club, with the company's UK CEO David Haworth highlighting Havana Club 7-year-old.

Haworth said the company maintained retail spirits share in what he called “a very competitive H1” with “more aggressive pricing than I’ve seen for a long time”. He said the company’s average selling price for a 70cl bottle of spirits was £17.75, compared to the UK market average of £14.78.

On the future of home cocktail trends, Haworth said that at a time when there is still pressure on household income, consumers will continue to make cocktails at home.

“People have invested quite a lot of money and effort into building bars and having a repertoire of drinks," he said. “Our research shows that one in two spirit drinking households own a cocktail shaker.

“We haven’t, so far, seen a reduction in this trend towards cocktail making. I’m quite positive about the future of home cocktail making.”

He also flagged a strong performance in the on-trade as people start to return to bars, including a thirst for experiential activations.

Elsewhere, Haworth underscored the continued rapid growth of RTDs in the off-trade and he said we can expect more new products from the company in terms of premium RTDs, in the next 12 months. The company reported 15.2% value growth for RTDs in retail.

Going forward, he said the RTD strategy includes replenishing customers after supply chain constraints. "The second part of it is to make sure we accelerate the distribution of the brands we've already got," he added.

"And the third part of it would be NPD. We're not really tapping into cocktails," he said, highlighting plays in more simple spirt and mixer offers, such as gin and tonic.

"We'll be coming to market with a couple of very interesting propositions. I can't divulge too much. It's a great place for our brands to be in and well known brands such as Mailbu, Jameson, Absolut and Malfy are well-placed to acclerate the whole RTD base."  

On wine, Haworth flagged share growth for Campo Viejo but he said overall H1 value share of off-trade wine declined, owing to supply chain constraints caused by a smaller harvest in New Zealand, which affected Brancott Estate Sauvignon Blanc. Looking forward, he expects growth to come from a return to form for New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc as well as from Argentinian Malbec.   

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