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Premium spirits are driving growth in the category by offering unique experiences

Published:  15 July, 2016

Premium spirits are up 18.6% in the UK and are the primary driver of growth in the sprits category according to William Grant & Sons 2016 Market Report.

According to the report, 39% of sprits growth has been driven by premium spirits.

Total beer wine and sprits mart is worth £39.9 billion, which up 1.8%.  Spirits in total is worth £9.88 billion. Total premium Spirits is now worth over 1.18 billion and is up 18.6 %.

Mostly the growth is coming from the on-trade where the spirits sector has grown 6.3%. In the on-trade the category is valued at over twice that than the off-trade and its growth is outpacing the latter as well. The on-trade premium spirits category is now worth £808 million, which is up 19.7% compared to a year ago.  The off-trade premium spirits category is worth £308 million and it too grew last year, up 15.8%.

While alcohol consumption in the long term is in decline, with volumes down 19% since 2004, why are premium spirits doing so well? "While beers, beers, some and spirits as an overall market is largely flat (year on year), the premium spirits category is n growth, driven by premium experiences, craft authenticity and satisfying the consumers need of discernment, treats and social status," according to the report.

Gary KeoghGary KeoghGary Keogh, marketing director William Grant & Sons UK Ltd

Gary Keogh, marketing director William Grant & Sons UK Ltd

The importance of offering unique brand experiences is a long term trend that William Grant & Sons has identified as a big opportunity for brands. 

"Experience definitely has become a table stake; the hygiene factor for brands to get involved in today. This a great example of ta trend that has been around for a long, long time," said Gary Keogh, marketing director UK at William Grant & Sons.

The experience that brands provide for consumers is and will continue to be increasingly important and so far premium spirits brands have been on the fore front of this trend, more so than beer and wine.

Keogh said: "The experience economy shows absolutely no sign of abating, this is a real long term trend that is becoming a table stake for brands. So you see the evolution of companies, just like products, now demands memorable experiences.  Technology as well as people can play a really big role in that."