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Seasonal Drinking - UK - August 2009

While seasonality does have some influence in consumer alcohol purchase decisions, its role is more limited than might be expected given that seasonality is a recurring theme of drinks advertising.

Choosing a chilled drink (i.e. rosé instead of red wine) is understandably more pronounced in the summer (favoured by 27m). Interestingly this is also the largest motivating factor in winter (favoured by 13m), more so than a drink at room temperature (11m).

Men aged 18-44 are most likely to want cold served drinks regardless of the season (4m). This suggests that cider, which is favoured by men, has enormous potential to transcend its summer popularity and be drunk all-year round.

Household spend on alcohol increases throughout the year; in winter (Jan-Mar) it is 3b, in spring and summer (Apr-Sep) it stays stable at around 3.5b and then it increases by 24% to reach 4.3b in autumn (Oct-Dec), to coincide with the festive season.

While most alcohol categories spend a greater proportion of their above-the-line advertising in the autumn/winter period, cider is the opposite, spending almost three times more in spring/summer.

Consumers perceive white/red wine and lager as having year-round drinking status; rosé, cider, bitter/stout and white spirits have more potential to reduce seasonality and drinks like liqueurs, Champagne, dark spirits and fortified wine are firmly relegated to seasonal occasion drinking. For example 30m adults drink red or white wine all-year round, but only 7m drink rose and almost 4.5 drink Champagne or sparkling wine as a year-round option.

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Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Definition
      • Future Opportunities

        • Seasonality as authentic and environmental
          • De-bunking seasonality
            • Enabling seasonal drinking from the home
              • Aiding New Year’s resolutions
              • Market in Brief

                • Seasonal sales
                  • Figure 1: Quarterly household expenditure on alcohol, 2005-08*
                • Disconnect between marketeers and consumers
                  • Some are more seasonal than others
                    • Maximising advertising return on investment
                      • Largest spenders by season
                      • Internal Market Environment

                        • Key points
                          • Off-trade becomes an increasingly important battleground
                            • Figure 2: Drinking trends of the population, 2005-09
                          • Is seasonality a factor for consumers?
                            • Figure 3: Average monthly UK temperature, 2005-08
                          • Seasonality as a point of differentiation or a trap
                            • Hot summers no guarantee of greater sales
                              • Figure 4: The relationship between summer sunshine and summer spend on alcohol, 2003-08
                            • The ‘staycation’ can increase summer sales
                              • Figure 5: The number of total UK holidays per year, domestically and overseas, 2004-09
                          • Broader Market Environment

                            • Key points
                              • Duty on the increase
                                • Figure 6: Duty increases on beer, cider/perry, spirits and wine, 2003-09
                              • The UK falls into recession
                                • Figure 7: Trends in quarterly UK GDP, 2004-09
                              • Alcohol sales start to slow accordingly
                                • Figure 8: Quarterly household expenditure on alcohol, 2006-08
                              • A more frugal consumer
                                • Figure 9: Trends for consumer attitudes towards finances, by quarter, 2004-09
                              • Economy to bounce back from 2010
                                • Figure 10: Trends in PDI and consumer expenditure, 2004-14
                              • The problem of seasonal binge drinking
                              • Who’s Innovating?

                                • Key points
                                  • Summer and Christmas are key for new products
                                    • Figure 11: Percentage of total new alcohol products, by quarter, 2005-09
                                  • Different drink types work to different calendars
                                    • Figure 12: Proportion of new alcohol products, by quarter, by type of drink, 2005-08
                                • Market Size

                                  • Key points
                                    • Alcohol sales gather momentum through the year…
                                      • Figure 13: Household expenditure on alcohol, by quarter, 2005-08*
                                    • …and so does advertising spend
                                      • Figure 14: Household expenditure on alcohol and advertisiing expenditure, by quarter, 2005-08*
                                    • January-March offers more ‘bang for the advertising buck’
                                        • Figure 15: Household expenditure on alcohol per £1 million spent on above-the-line advertising, by quarter, 2005-08*
                                      • Spirits and wine increase their share in colder months
                                        • Figure 16: Household expenditure, by quarter, by drinks sector, 2005-08*
                                    • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                      • Key points
                                        • Seasonal advertising
                                          • Figure 17: Average advertising spend per month over past four years, March 2005-February 2009
                                        • Scottish & Newcastle dominates summer spend
                                          • Figure 18: Top ten alcohol advertisers during spring/summer 2005-08*
                                        • Diageo outstrips winter advertisers
                                          • Figure 19: Top ten alcohol advertisres during autumn/winter 2005-09*
                                        • Cider focuses heavily on summer
                                          • Guinness tops winter spend
                                            • Figure 21: Top ten alcohol brands advertised during autumn/winter 2005-09*
                                          • Cider can follow the lead of lager
                                            • Figure 22: Top-spending alcohol categories advertised during spring/summer 2005-08*
                                            • Figure 23: Top-spending alcohol categories advertised during autumn/winter 2005-09*
                                            • Figure 24: Difference between spend in spring/summer and autumn/winter, by type of alcohol, 2005-09
                                          • Capitalising on the spirit of summer
                                          • Consumer Usage

                                            • Key points
                                              • Wine and lager most likely to be drunk all year round
                                                • Figure 25: Types of alcohol drunk all year round, June 2009
                                              • Rosé is changing perceptions but cider and spirits still have a way to go
                                                • Figure 26: Proportion of drinkers who drink all year round, by drink type, June 2009
                                            • Consumer Attitudes

                                              • Key points
                                                • A huge desire for chilled drinks in summer months
                                                    • Figure 27: Most important factors influencing choice of drink, by season, June 2009
                                                  • However, there is a desire for chilled drinks even in colder weather
                                                      • Figure 28: Those whose purchase of alcohol is influenced by it tasting good when served cold both in summer and winter, by gender, age and socio-economic group, June 2009
                                                    • Beyond temperature, an absence of seasonal motivations
                                                      • Figure 29: Difference in importance of factors influencing choice of drinks in spring/summer and autumn/winter, June 2009
                                                      • Figure 30: The importance of seasonal associations when choosing a drink, by gender and age, June 2009
                                                  • Targeting Opportunities

                                                    • Key points
                                                      • Identifying targets
                                                        • Figure 31: Seasonal drinking attitudinal groups, June 2009
                                                      • Cool all year round
                                                        • Seasonally sensitive
                                                          • Seasonally unconcerned
                                                            • Sensible not seasonal
                                                                • Figure 32: Most important factors influencing choice of drink when drinking in spring/summer and in autumn/winter, by target groups, June 2009
                                                            • Appendix

                                                              • Consumer research
                                                                • ACORN
                                                                  • Advertising data
                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                    • Appendix – Consumer Attitudes

                                                                        • Figure 33: Most important factors influencing choice of drink when drink in spring/summer, by demographics, June 2009
                                                                        • Figure 34: Most important factors influencing choice of drink when drink in spring/summer, by demographics, June 2009 (continued)
                                                                        • Figure 35: Most important factors influencing choice of drink when drink in autumn/winter, by demographics, June 2009
                                                                        • Figure 36: Most important factors influencing choice of drink when drink in autumn/winter, by demographics, June 2009 (continued)
                                                                    • Appendix – Targeting Opportunities

                                                                        • Figure 37: Target groups, by demographics, June 2009
                                                                        • Figure 38: Types of alcohol drunk, by target groups, June 2009

                                                                    Seasonal Drinking - UK - August 2009

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