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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Rosé tinted glasses

I was asked recently what I thought the biggest change had been in wine fashion in the past five years. My answer was unequivocal: sales of pink wines. From being a niche that expanded and contracted with the sunshine, rosé has subtly but steadily become a stalwart of many merchants’ ranges, with Provence firmly at the top and asked for by name.

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