CGA figures show that the on-trade shots category – which includes the likes of tequila, sambuca, Jägermeister and Sourz – is worth £890 million, but it is worth just £60.5 million in the off-trade (Nielsen, year to April 26).
Retailers are urged to group these “party spirits” together to create an in-store category that will encourage shoppers to spend more.
Nicole Goodwin, Jägermeister UK marketing director, said: “It’s something for the off-trade guys to champion.
“It is very disproportionate. It only accounts for 1.4% of total spirits in the off-trade compared to 15.2% in the on-trade. There is a huge opportunity in the off-trade.
“We presented this to Tesco and we got two extra SKUs, in double facings, and moved up to eye-level.”
Goodwin wants Jägermeister o become “category leader and champion” in the shot sector. “Diageo and Brown-Forman are champions for the overall spirits category but not for shots,” she said.
The firm has worked with Nielsen and CGA to pull the figures together and establish the health of the category.
In the off-trade Jägermeister is top with £22.4 million, up 6.4% in the past year. Next is Sourz on £14.6 million, down 2.9%, then tequila on £10.8 million and sambuca on £9.3 million, up 9.3% and 6.8% respectively.
Goodwin believes these figures could come closer to matching the on-trade numbers – where Jägermeister leads the way with £262 million, followed by sambuca on £218 million – if retailers are proactive.
She said: “The category is all over the place in the off-trade, with limoncello in one place and Corky’s in another. It’s often just a real mess.
“The category has 4 million on-trade drinkers, and just 166,000 off-trade consumers.
“The shot consumer is there for the taking and we need to help the trade make the most of it.
“Preloading keeps going. The party at home continues to grow. You can buy a whole bottle for £20 in the off-trade, but get just four drinks for that when out.
“Party spirits should be grouped together in the off- trade. Just put two or three products together.
“The category isn’t sold on deals where margin is being eroded, and shots offer a better margin than beer, wine or cider. You can charge a premium.
“A drink before going out is now the most important occasion for 18 to 24-year-olds [TNS research from July 2014].”
Customer marketing and insights controller Jonathan Dennys added: “As the nation’s drinking habits and palettes are evolving, it’s notable that many retailers are not updating their range or in-store display to tap into this trend.
“With consumers embracing the big night in occasions more than ever before – whether to enjoy a TV event, party occasion like Halloween or as precursor to a night out – the potential opportunity for retailers to maximise their shot sales is huge.
“Mast-Jaegermeister UK will be investing heavily in this long term campaign with our trade partners by sharing insight and expertise to help them better understand the shot category and ultimately grow consumer penetration and sales.”