The annual William Grant Market Report 2016 has been released, and amongst the continuation of such drinks trends as drinking less but better, and interest in experiences, health consciousness is apparently going to be a growing aspect.
'Two million people do dry January now,' said Gary Keogh, marketing director of William Grant & Sons UK. ‘Beer is ahead of the curve within this, with an increase in availability of products such as gluten-free and low-alcohol beers. Britvic is looking at products past J2O, one of our competitors [Diageo] has just invested in a non-alcoholic spirit [Seedlip]. This trend is going to gain momentum and not go away. This is about not living in an echo chamber – we need to be alert and aware of this trend.'
Amongst the other findings of the report, volume sales of alcohol has stabilised, but value is continuing to increase, with premium spirits really driving this – the value of premium spirits sales is up 19.7% in a year, while value sales of mainstream spirits is up 6.3%.
'When consumers go out they want to make it count. They want brands to give memorable experiences and social currency,' said Joanna Jordan, sales operations controller.
Amongst the spirits categories, vodka still dominates, comprising 32.4% of spirits sales, followed by liqueurs & specialities (23.1%), gin (9.9%) and blended whisky (6.8%).
Food is also still a massive focus for the on-trade, with the number of food-led outlets in the UK growing by 1.6% over the last year, as opposed to wet-led venues, which declined by 2.3%.