2022
9
UK Attitudes towards Premium Alcoholic Drinks Market Report 2022
2022-02-04T03:04:40+00:00
OX1103451
2195
147688
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Report
en_GB
“Although losing on-trade sales, premium alcoholic drinks’ retail sales benefited from the overall growth in retail alcohol drinks sales in 2020, sustained in 2021, amid the COVID-19 restrictions. The segment…

UK Attitudes towards Premium Alcoholic Drinks Market Report 2022

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)

Description

The UK Attitudes Towards Premium Alcoholic Drinks report identifies consumer attitudes towards premium alcoholic drinks, luxury alcoholic drinks buying occasions, and premium positioning in the UK. This market report covers the market size, market forecast, market segmentation and industry trends for the Attitudes Towards Premium Alcoholic Drinks market in the UK.

Current Market Landscape

It is crucial for premium drinks brands to spell out their environmental credentials in order to support their quality image. Consumers’ increased eco-consciousness as a result of the pandemic adds further urgency for companies to prove their commitment to sustainability.

  • 64% of alcohol buyers expect premium alcoholic drinks to have more sustainable practices than standard ones.
  • 41% of alcohol buyers wanting to see more premium low/non-alcoholic drinks.
  • These would prompt 39% and 36% of alcohol buyers respectively to buy a new premium alcoholic drink.

Premium alcoholic drinks’ retail sales benefited from the overall growth in retail alcoholic drinks sales. Meanwhile, their on-premise sales were severely hit and hospitality and leisure sectors were closed or operating under restrictions in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19. Premium brands were also able to garner new users, despite the economic impact of the pandemic, from shoppers trading up in retail.

Future Market Trends in Premium Alcoholic Drinks 

Pressure on household incomes in 2022 poses a threat to sales of premium alcoholic drinks, likely prompting people to cut back on discretionary purchases, including alcohol, or to trade down within the category. Longer term, the alcohol moderation trend and ageing UK population will also serve to erode sales. Premium low/non-alcoholic drinks offer one way for brands to tap into the alcohol moderation trend.

Harnessing friends’/family recommendations and gifting stand out as key means for brands to drive purchase of premium products. These drivers’ strong appeal to over-55s also points to these as invaluable for brands in engaging this growing and typically wealthy group.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our UK Drinks market research.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on the premium alcoholic drinks sub-category.
  • Attributes most widely seen by consumers as defining premium alcoholic drinks.
  • Established approaches and emerging trends in launches of alcoholic drinks with a premium positioning, and opportunities for further innovation.
  • Occasions for which premium alcoholic drinks are bought, and how brands can best approach these in their marketing.
  • Means by which companies can prompt purchase of premium alcoholic drinks.
  • Consumers’ perceptions of premium alcoholic drinks in terms of ethics and the environment.

Covered in this report

Brands: Aldi, Brixton, Vocation, Cotswold, M&H, Menabrea, Camden Town Brewery, Courvoisier De Luxe, Bombay Sapphire, Toast Ales, Discarded Grape Skin, Sipsmith, Marks & Spencer (M&S), Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Salcombe Gin, Crossip Drinks, Tetley’s, Vitória Régia, Hotel Chocolat.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Alice Baker, a leading analyst in the Food and Drink sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Although losing on-trade sales, premium alcoholic drinks’ retail sales benefited from the overall growth in retail alcohol drinks sales in 2020, sustained in 2021, amid the COVID-19 restrictions. The segment also gained users from shoppers trading up. However, sales are now under threat amid the income squeeze. Encouraging recommendations and gifting stand out as key means for brands to attract new users. These drivers’ appeal to over-55s also makes them invaluable for brands to engage this growing and typically wealthy group.

Alice Baker
Senior Food & Drink Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • COVID-19: market context
    • Economic and other assumptions
    • Products covered in this Report
  2. Executive Summary

    • Impact of COVID-19 on premium alcoholic drinks
      • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on premium alcoholic drinks, 2020-25
    • The market
    • Various factors affect alcoholic drinks prices over 2021-22
    • Income squeeze, alcohol moderation trend and ageing UK population to hinder sales
    • Companies and brands
    • Ingredient varieties, small batch production and age statements among attributes widely used to signal premium status on launches
    • Premium own-label goes for the wow factor for gifting, seasonal launches target new occasions
    • The consumer
    • Superior taste is the top attribute seen to define premium alcoholic drinks
      • Figure 2: Defining attributes for premium alcoholic drinks, 2021
    • Half of adults buy premium alcoholic drinks, with spirits in the lead
      • Figure 3: Purchase of standard/economy and premium alcoholic drinks, 2021
    • Premium alcoholic drinks are bought for everyday at-home occasions by 56% of buyers
      • Figure 4: Occasions for which premium alcoholic drinks are bought, 2021
    • Recommendations and gifting are among key purchase prompts for premium drinks
      • Figure 5: Prompts to buy a new premium alcoholic drink, 2021
    • Makers of premium products must prove they are innovative and ethical
      • Figure 6: Behaviours relating to premium alcoholic drinks, 2021
    • Retail’s value image will hinder on-trade recovery, premium low-/non-alcoholic drinks can tap alcohol moderation
      • Figure 7: Attitudes towards premium alcoholic drinks, 2021
  3. Issues and Insights

    • Harness the power of recommendations to grow sales post-COVID
    • Vital for brands to appeal for gifting occasions in order to grow sales
    • Brands have several options to tap into the moderation trend
  4. Market Drivers

    • Various factors affect alcohol prices
    • Supply chain issues hit the alcohol industry in 2021
    • UK alcoholic drinks exports decline over 2019-21
    • Alcohol duty freeze offers relief to the industry, but higher-ABV products could lose out from reform
    • Pressure on household incomes in 2022 will hinder sales of premium alcoholic drinks
    • GDP should reach pre-pandemic levels by the end of Q1 2022…
    • …but the post-COVID bounceback will be short-term
    • Employment has held up better than expected
    • Inflationary pressures are mounting
    • Consumers’ financial wellbeing has slipped from its recent high point…
      • Figure 8: Household Financial Wellbeing Index, 2016-21
    • …and concerns over inflation are coming to the fore
      • Figure 9: Consumer concerns over cost-of-living changes, 2021
    • Summary of key economic data, 2020-26
      • Figure 10: Key economic data, 2020-26
    • Premium products gain new users amid COVID-19 retail alcoholic drinks sales boost
    • Growth in online retail offers opportunities for premium drinks
    • Alcohol moderation trend gains pace
    • Ageing UK population will hinder sales of premium alcoholic drinks
    • Government consults on calorie labelling for alcoholic drinks
    • Consumers’ increased environmental consciousness could boost premium products
    • Consumers’ resolve to buy British could benefit some brands
  5. Launch Activity and Innovation

    • Ingredient varieties and small batch production are among key attributes used to signal premium status
    • More beer brands should spell out how particular hops influence the flavour
      • Figure 11: Example of own-label beer launch with on-pack references to hop varieties, 2021
      • Figure 12: Examples of craft beer launches with on-pack references to hop varieties and flavour notes, 2021
    • Spirits brands supplement small batch statements with references to local sourcing
      • Figure 13: Examples of premium spirits launches highlighting both small-batch production and local sourcing, 2021
    • Age statements continue to be used to mark out products as premium
      • Figure 14: Examples of craft/premium beer launches with on-pack age statements, 2021
    • Limited-edition launches continue
      • Figure 15: Examples of limited-edition spirits launches, 2020-21
    • Environmental claims will appeal given consumers’ increased eco-consciousness
    • Trend for using surplus ingredients continues over 2020-21
      • Figure 16: Examples of premium alcoholic drinks made from surplus ingredients, 2020-21
    • Craft brands take action on sustainability
    • Speciality Brands launches ‘world’s first’ biodynamic whisky
    • Premium own-label goes for the wow factor for gifting products
      • Figure 17: Examples of own-label Christmas liqueur launches with edible gold leaf, 2021
    • Seasonal launches look to position particular alcoholic drinks for new usage occasions
      • Figure 18: Examples of seasonal premium alcoholic drinks launches, 2021
    • Brands and own-label low/non-alcoholic launches highlight their premium attributes
      • Figure 19: Examples of low-/no-alcohol drinks calling out premium attributes on-pack, 2021
    • Non-alcoholic Prosecco looks to appeal for gifting occasions
    • Newcomer brand Bemuse launches craft mead
  6. Attributes Seen to Define Premium Alcoholic Drinks

    • Superior taste is the top attribute held to define a premium drink
      • Figure 20: Defining attributes for premium alcoholic drinks, 2021
    • Communicate products’ flavour notes on-pack and on-shelf
      • Figure 21: Sainsbury’s wine aisle giving details about individual products on-shelf, 2021
    • Need to explain how particular ingredients and production methods improve the taste
    • Offer sampling to drive purchase
    • Long heritage has premium associations for three in 10 adults
      • Figure 22: Example of a premium alcoholic drink launch highlighting heritage and expertise on-pack, 2021
    • An interesting backstory can encourage trial of new brands
    • Explore new drinks that draw on historical recipes or techniques
    • Quality awards are important for premium drinks
      • Figure 23: Examples of alcoholic drinks launches displaying quality awards on front-of-pack, 2021
  7. Purchase of Premium Alcoholic Drinks

    • Half of adults buy premium alcoholic drinks
      • Figure 24: Purchase of standard/economy and premium alcoholic drinks, 2021
    • Buying of premium alcoholic drinks peaks among 18-34s
      • Figure 25: Purchase of premium alcoholic drinks, by age group, 2021
    • Employment figures and consumers’ financial health are crucial
    • Innovate with smaller formats to appeal to consumers amid income squeeze
    • Brands must ensure that they appeal both to users and non-users
      • Figure 26: Purchase of premium alcoholic drinks, by recipient, 2021
  8. Purchase of Premium Alcoholic Drinks by Type

    • Spirits lead on buying of premium variants
      • Figure 27: Purchase of standard/economy and premium alcoholic drinks, by type, 2021
  9. Occasions for which Premium Alcoholic Drinks are Bought

    • Promote an ‘everyday occasions’ message to drive buying
      • Figure 28: Occasions for which premium alcoholic drinks are bought, 2021
    • Over-45s offer valuable opportunities for premium drinks makers
    • Seasonal celebrations prompt purchase among 44%
  10. Prompts to Buy a New Premium Alcoholic Drink

    • Gifting is a key purchase driver for premium alcoholic drinks
      • Figure 29: Prompts to buy a new premium alcoholic drink, 2021
    • Communicating superior flavour is especially important in appealing to gift buyers
    • Explore attractive yet sustainable packaging
    • Friend/family recommendations hold more sway than those from professionals
    • Push a ‘Share Your Knowledge’ message to encourage recommendations
    • Social media and apps serve to publicise recommendations
    • Recommendations are especially important in engaging over-55s
  11. Behaviours Relating to Premium Alcoholic Drinks

    • Premium players are under pressure to maintain innovation
      • Figure 30: Behaviours relating to premium alcoholic drinks, 2021
    • Environment-led innovation should play well with consumers
    • Brands must prove their environmental commitments
    • Promoting drinks’ good environmental credentials should tap into the feel-good aspects of buying ethical
    • Alcoholic drinks with environmentally friendly packaging appeal to many
  12. Attitudes towards Premium Alcoholic Drinks

    • Views that even premium drinks bought at retail are better value will hinder on-trade recovery in 2022
      • Figure 31: Attitudes towards premium alcoholic drinks, 2021
    • On-trade should seek out brands not widely available at supermarkets
    • Premium low/non-alcoholic drinks present promising opportunities for brands
    • Good opportunities for long-standing brands to release low/non-alcoholic versions
    • Quality awards and focus on production methods can enhance the appeal of low/non-alcoholic variants
    • Flavour must be at the heart of communications
  13. Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

    • Abbreviations
    • Consumer research methodology

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

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Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.

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*databooks not available with UK B2B Industry reports.

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