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Dark Spirits and Liqueurs - UK - September 2015

“The commoditisation of flavoured vodka provides a cautionary tale for dark spirit brands to take heed of to try to retain the inherent premium image of the market. The Famous Grouse provides a good example of a brand that has innovated with different expressions while simultaneously promoting itself as a premium brand.”
– Chris Wisson, Senior Drinks Analyst

This report discusses the following key topics:

  • Smaller bottles can provide big opportunities
  • Brandy could step out from whisky’s shadow
  • Tapping into the growth of spirit beers/ciders and beer cocktails
  • Scope to boost online purchases of dark spirits and liqueurs

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in the report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Steady value growth masks stagnating volumes
              • Figure 1: Forecast of UK value sales of dark spirits and liqueurs, 2010-20
              • Figure 2: Forecast of UK volume sales of dark spirits and liqueurs, 2010-20
            • Whisky continues to dominate the market
              • Similar growth trends in both sales channels
                • Companies, brands and innovation
                  • Diageo leads the way in both value and volume sales
                    • The Famous Grouse further extends its dominance
                      • Figure 3: Retail value sales of the leading dark spirit and liqueur brands in the UK, 2014/15*
                    • Positive performances elsewhere in the category
                      • Total category adspend nudges upwards in 2014
                        • The consumer
                          • 60% of adults drink dark spirits/liqueurs
                            • Figure 4: Usage of types of dark spirits, July 2015
                          • Single malt whisky is the most likely type to be cited as a favourite
                            • Large supermarkets dominate off-trade sales locations
                              • Dark spirits are popular in both up- and low-tempo occasions
                                • Figure 5: Occasions for drinking dark spirits and liqueurs, July 2015
                              • Single malt whisky enjoys a number of positive associations
                                • Price hinders consumers’ willingness to experiment
                                  • Figure 6: Attitudes towards dark spirits and liqueurs, July 2015
                                • Honey and cherry can provide sweet success for spirit brands
                                  • What we think
                                  • Issues and Insights

                                    • Smaller bottles can provide big opportunities
                                      • The facts
                                        • The implications
                                          • Brandy could step out from whisky’s shadow
                                            • The facts
                                              • The implications
                                                • Tapping into the growth of spirit beers/ciders and beer cocktails
                                                  • The facts
                                                    • The implications
                                                      • Scope to boost online purchases of dark spirits and liqueurs
                                                        • The facts
                                                          • The implications
                                                          • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                            • Price rises mask slow volume growth
                                                              • Whisky continues to dominate the market
                                                                • Slow volume decline in the brandy segment
                                                                  • Dark rums continue to grow rapidly
                                                                    • Liqueurs return to marginal growth
                                                                      • Similar growth trends in both sales channels
                                                                      • Market Size and Segmentation

                                                                        • Steady value growth masks stagnating volumes
                                                                          • Figure 7: Total value and volume sales of dark spirits and liqueurs, at current and constant prices, 2010-20
                                                                          • Figure 8: Forecast of UK value sales of dark spirits and liqueurs, 2010-20
                                                                          • Figure 9: Forecast of UK volume sales of dark spirits and liqueurs, 2010-20
                                                                          • Figure 10: Ratio of value and volume sales in the dark spirits and liqueurs market, by segment, 2015 (est)
                                                                        • Whisky continues to dominate the market
                                                                          • Figure 11: Total value and volume sales of whiskies, at current and constant prices, 2010-20
                                                                          • Figure 12: Forecast of UK value sales of whisky/whiskey, 2010-20
                                                                        • Little change in the brandy segment
                                                                          • Figure 13: Total value and volume sales of brandies, at current and constant prices, 2010-20
                                                                          • Figure 14: Forecast of UK value sales of brandy/Cognac/Armagnac, 2010-20
                                                                        • Dark rums continue to grow rapidly
                                                                          • Figure 15: Total value and volume sales of dark/golden/spiced rums, at current and constant prices, 2010-20
                                                                          • Figure 16: Forecast of UK value sales of dark/golden/spiced rums, 2010-20
                                                                        • Liqueurs return to marginal value growth
                                                                          • Figure 17: Total value and volume sales of liqueurs, at current and constant prices, 2010-20
                                                                          • Figure 18: Forecast of UK value sales of liqueurs, 2010-20
                                                                      • Channels to Market

                                                                        • Similar growth trends in both sales channels
                                                                          • Figure 19: Value and volume sales of dark spirits and liqueurs, by channel, 2013-15
                                                                      • Market Drivers

                                                                        • Alcoholic drink prices continue to rise
                                                                          • Figure 20: UK excise duty rates for selected alcoholic drinks, 2003-15
                                                                          • Figure 21: RPI indexed annual change for alcoholic drink prices versus all items except housing, 2000-14
                                                                        • Consumers’ financial health recovers but remains fragile
                                                                          • An embattled on-trade industry
                                                                            • UK consumers continue to cut back on alcohol
                                                                              • Bridging the gender divide
                                                                                • Figure 22: Usage of types of dark spirits and liqueurs, by gender, July 2015
                                                                              • Population changes could also impact the market
                                                                              • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                                                • Diageo leads the way in both value and volume sales
                                                                                  • The Famous Grouse extends its lead
                                                                                    • Courvoisier achieves strong growth
                                                                                      • Captain Morgan leads dark rum
                                                                                        • Baileys leads the liqueur segment
                                                                                          • Total category adspend nudges upwards in 2014
                                                                                          • Market Share

                                                                                            • Diageo leads the way in both value and volume sales
                                                                                              • Figure 23: Leading manufacturers’ shares of dark spirit and liqueur sales in the UK off-trade, 2014/15*
                                                                                            • The Famous Grouse further extends its lead in whisky
                                                                                                • Figure 24: Retail value sales of the leading whisky brands in the UK, 2012/13-2014/15
                                                                                                • Figure 25: Retail prices of selected whisky brands (70cl bottles), July 2015
                                                                                              • Whyte & Mackay and Teacher’s also enjoy strong performances
                                                                                                • Courvoisier achieves strong growth
                                                                                                  • Figure 26: Retail value sales of the leading brandy/Cognac brands in the UK, 2012/13-2014/15
                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Retail prices of selected brandy/Cognac brands (70cl bottles), July 2015
                                                                                                • Captain Morgan drives growth in the dark rum category
                                                                                                  • Figure 28: Retail value sales of the leading dark/golden/spiced rum brands in the UK, 2012/13-2014/15
                                                                                                  • Figure 29: Retail prices of selected dark/golden/spiced rum brands (70cl bottles), July 2015
                                                                                                • Jack Daniel’s honey boosts liqueur sales
                                                                                                    • Figure 30: Retail value sales of the leading liqueur brands in the UK, 2012/13-2014/15
                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Retail prices of selected liqueur brands (70cl bottles), July 2015
                                                                                                • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                  • Total category adspend nudges upwards in 2014
                                                                                                    • Figure 32: Recorded above-the-line, online display and direct mail total advertising expenditure on dark spirits and liqueurs, by category, 2012-15
                                                                                                  • BBFB leads the way in category adspend
                                                                                                    • Figure 33: Top 15 highest-spending brands in the dark spirits and liqueurs category, 2012-15
                                                                                                  • Diageo invests in its leading brand
                                                                                                    • Other selected campaigns
                                                                                                      • TV remains the most popular channel for advertisers
                                                                                                        • Figure 34: Channels for advertising in the dark spirits and liqueurs category, 2012-15
                                                                                                    • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                                        • NPD in whisky/whiskey
                                                                                                          • The market leaders continue to innovate
                                                                                                            • Johnnie Walker looks to offer a multisensory experience…
                                                                                                              • …while Glenfiddich launches a new website
                                                                                                                • New Scotch whiskies target younger drinkers
                                                                                                                  • Packaging revamps look to drive standout
                                                                                                                    • NPD in brandy/Cognac/Armagnac
                                                                                                                      • NPD in dark/golden/spiced rum
                                                                                                                        • NPD in liqueurs
                                                                                                                          • Pimm’s looks to new flavours
                                                                                                                          • Brand Research

                                                                                                                              • What you need to know
                                                                                                                                • Brand map
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 35: Attitudes towards and usage of selected dark spirit and liqueur brands, July 2015
                                                                                                                                • Key brand metrics
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 36: Key metrics for selected brands, July 2015
                                                                                                                                • Brand attitudes: The Famous Grouse scores strongly on trust and reputation
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 37: Attitudes, by brand, July 2015
                                                                                                                                • Brand personality: Jack Daniel’s and Southern Comfort are seen as vibrant and fun
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 38: Brand personality – Macro image, July 2015
                                                                                                                                • Dark spirit and liqueur brands struggle for differentiation at the micro level
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 39: Brand personality – Micro image, July 2015
                                                                                                                                • Brand analysis
                                                                                                                                  • Jack Daniel’s (JD)
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 40: User profile of Jack Daniel’s, July 2015
                                                                                                                                  • Jameson
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: User profile of Jameson, July 2015
                                                                                                                                  • The Famous Grouse
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: User profile of The Famous Grouse, July 2015
                                                                                                                                  • Jim Beam
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: User profile of Jim Beam, July 2015
                                                                                                                                  • Southern Comfort
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 44: User profile of Southern Comfort, July 2015
                                                                                                                                  • Grant’s
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 45: User profile of Grant’s, July 2015
                                                                                                                                  • Bell’s
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 46: User profile of Bell’s, July 2015
                                                                                                                                • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                  • 60% of adults drink dark spirits/liqueurs
                                                                                                                                    • Single malt whisky is the most likely type to be cited as a favourite
                                                                                                                                      • Large supermarkets dominate off-trade sales locations
                                                                                                                                        • Dark spirits are popular in both up- and low-tempo occasions
                                                                                                                                          • Single malt whisky enjoys a number of positive associations
                                                                                                                                            • Price hinders consumers’ willingness to experiment
                                                                                                                                              • Honey and cherry can provide sweet success for spirit brands
                                                                                                                                              • Usage of Dark Spirits and Liqueurs

                                                                                                                                                • 60% of adults drink dark spirits/liqueurs
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 47: Usage of dark spirits, by type, July 2015
                                                                                                                                                • Single malt is the most popular whisky to drink neat
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 48: Ways of drinking types of dark spirits, July 2015
                                                                                                                                                • Brandy drunk by a quarter of adults
                                                                                                                                                  • Dark/golden/spiced rum thriving on its mixability
                                                                                                                                                    • Liqueurs are drunk by three in 10 adults
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 49: Usage of liqueurs and flavoured dark spirits, by type, July 2015
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 50: Ways of drinking types of liqueurs and flavoured dark spirits, July 2015
                                                                                                                                                    • 35% of adults drink three or more types of dark spirits/liqueurs
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 51: Repertoire of usage of dark spirits and liqueurs, July 2015
                                                                                                                                                  • Preferences of Dark Spirits and Liqueurs

                                                                                                                                                    • Single malt whisky is the most likely type to be cited as a favourite
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 52: Dark spirits/liqueurs ranked ‘favourite’ among users of each type of drink, July 2015
                                                                                                                                                    • Cream-based liqueurs are also a favourite type of many users
                                                                                                                                                      • Non-cream liqueurs struggle to become favourites
                                                                                                                                                        • Brandies and dark rums appear to be repertoire drinks, not favourites
                                                                                                                                                        • Purchasing Locations and Willingness to Spend on Dark Spirits

                                                                                                                                                          • Large supermarkets dominate off-trade sales
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 53: Off-trade locations for buying dark spirits and liqueurs, July 2015
                                                                                                                                                          • Specialists and online channel remain niche
                                                                                                                                                            • Gifting can be an effective means of encouraging trading up
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 54: Willingness to spend on premium dark spirits and liqueurs, per bottle, July 2015
                                                                                                                                                          • Occasions for Consumption

                                                                                                                                                            • Dark spirits are popular in both up- and low-tempo occasions…
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 55: Occasions for drinking dark spirits and liqueurs, July 2015
                                                                                                                                                            • …but less so as part of nights out
                                                                                                                                                            • Perceptions of Dark Spirits

                                                                                                                                                              • Single malt whisky enjoys a number of positive associations
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 56: Perceptions of dark spirits, July 2015
                                                                                                                                                              • Blended whisky is seen most widely as value for money
                                                                                                                                                                • Bourbon winning the battle for younger drinkers
                                                                                                                                                                  • Brandy and dark rums fail to instigate many strong responses
                                                                                                                                                                  • Attitudes towards Dark Spirits and Liqueurs

                                                                                                                                                                    • Price hinders consumers’ willingness to experiment
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 57: Attitudes towards dark spirits and liqueurs, July 2015
                                                                                                                                                                    • Many women prefer white spirits
                                                                                                                                                                      • Price is more important than brand for many drinkers
                                                                                                                                                                        • Craft drinks appeal to two in five
                                                                                                                                                                          • Flavour innovation proves divisive
                                                                                                                                                                            • Interest in NPD and alcohol units driven by younger drinkers
                                                                                                                                                                            • Interest in Flavoured Dark Spirits and Liqueurs

                                                                                                                                                                              • Honey and cherry can provide sweet success for spirit brands
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 58: Interest in flavours of dark spirits and liqueurs, July 2015
                                                                                                                                                                              • A number of other flavours interest a quarter of these drinkers
                                                                                                                                                                                • Lesser used flavours are reflected in less interest
                                                                                                                                                                                • Target Groups

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 59: Target groups for dark spirits and liqueurs, July 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Price-conscious (28%)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Enthusiasts (35%)
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Disengaged (37%)
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Data sources
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Market Size and Segmentation

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 60: Best- and worst-case forecasts for the total dark spirits and liqueurs market, by value, 2015-20
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 61: Best- and worst-case forecasts for the total dark spirits and liqueurs market, by volume, 2015-20
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 62: Best- and worst-case forecasts for the whisky market, by value, 2015-20
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 63: Best- and worst-case forecasts for the whisky market, by volume, 2015-20
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 64: Forecast of UK volume sales of whisky/whiskey, 2010-20
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 65: Best- and worst-case forecasts for the brandy/Cognac/Armagnac market, by value, 2015-20
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 66: Best- and worst-case forecasts for the brandy/Cognac/Armagnac market, by volume, 2015-20
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 67: Forecast of UK volume sales of brandy/Cognac/Armagnac, 2010-20
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 68: Best- and worst-case forecasts for the dark/golden/spiced rum market, by value, 2015-20
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 69: Best- and worst-case forecasts for the dark/golden/spiced rum market, by volume, 2015-20
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 70: Forecast of UK volume sales of dark/golden/spiced rum, 2010-20
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 71: Best- and worst-case forecasts for the liqueurs market, by value, 2015-20
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 72: Best- and worst-case forecasts for the liqueurs market, by volume, 2015-20
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 73: Forecast of UK volume sales of liqueurs, 2010-20
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix – Market Share

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 74: Leading manufacturers’ shares of dark spirit and liqueur sales in the UK off-trade, 2014/15*
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 75: Retail volume sales of the leading whisky brands in the UK, 2012/13-2014/15
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 76: Retail volume sales of the leading brandy/Cognac brands in the UK, 2012/13-2014/15
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 77: Retail volume sales of the leading dark/golden/spiced rum brands in the UK, 2012/13-2014/15
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 78: Retail volume sales of the leading liqueur brands in the UK, 2012/13-2014/15

                                                                                                                                                                                            Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                            To learn more about the companies covered in this report please contact us.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Dark Spirits and Liqueurs - UK - September 2015

                                                                                                                                                                                            £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)