The report used Nielsen data for the year to April 27, 2013, to value the off-trade BWS market at £14.8 billion – while on-trade sales were worth £23.5 billion.
Among the off-trade sales at multiples grew 3% over the past year and now stand at £11.6 billion, while sales dropped 3% across the rest of the off-trade to £3.2 billion.
This means that the total off-trade grew at just 2% this year in the face of rising duty and inflation, but First Drinks was pleased to see the off-trade spirits market outperforming other categories and growing at 4%.
Marketing manager Una McCullough said: “As austerity continues to bite people are drinking on a less regular basis. Instead they are willing to trade up to more premium brands to satisfy a need for fewer but better drinking experiences.”
Together the top four grocers account for 67% of spirits value and 70% of volume. The report said spirits has stolen 2% of shelf space from beer and cider over the past year.
Smirnoff remains the top brand in terms of volume, followed by Glen’s The Famous Grouse, Bells, Gordon’s, Bacardi, Baileys, Grant’s, Jack Daniels and then Russian Standard.
Key growth areas are said to be non-cream liqueurs and spiced and golden rum, while gifting, smaller serves and online are driving further growth.
The report added that just 1.2% of convenience shoppers buy spirits, and if this could be upped to 2% the off-trade would earn an extra £480 million a year.