Biggest brands: Top 10 Alcohol Brands

Wine is the nation's top at-home tipple, driven by promotions and a 'demystification' process. Jane Simms reports WINE - £1910m-£1915m

Wine has extended its lead at the top of the alcohol sector. Its 17% sales growth has been driven by supermarket promotions prompting people to trade up to more expensive labels, range expansions and provision of guides on taste and food compatibility.

This deliberate 'demystification' of an upmarket category means that wine, traditionally purchased primarily by over-40s with money to spend on it, is tempting a growing number of younger drinkers.

Nine of the top 10 wines come from the New World, as a result of strong branding and a consistent quality, flavour and taste that has helped smash the traditional snobbery that characterised much wine-drinking. Australian wines overtook French wines in value terms this year.

Blossom Hill is the category leader. With growth of 41%, its strength is its attractiveness to 'newer' wine buyers, as it is comparatively cheap.

Jacob's Creek, the number two brand, has a broad range of brands and price points, with new wine drinkers entering with a £3-£4 bottle before trading up. Both Blossom Hill and Jacob's Creek have benefited from sponsorships, the former of Channel 4's Will & Grace, the latter of Friends and Wimbledon.

The fastest-growing brand was boxed wine Namaqua, whose sales rose 137%, albeit from a low base, on the back of strong promotion. The biggest faller was Kumala, which experienced a 15% slump.

BEER AND LAGER - £1805m-£1810m

Euro 2004 helped June record the highest supermarket sales peak for beer and lager outside Christmas for three years, pushing the category to 12% annual growth. Heavy promotions in Tesco and Asda, particularly on 24-packs, fuelled the trend.

An increase in premium lager sales indicates that consumers are taking advantage of discount pricing by trading up, with brands such as Stella Artois, Carlsberg Export and Budweiser the beneficiaries. Carlsberg grew 33% and Carlsberg Export 27%, way ahead of the market - helped in part by the brand's sponsorship of the England football team. Budweiser saw the biggest brand growth, with 36%.

With lager accounting for 60% of this category, Guinness is the sole non-lager brand in the top 10, up 27% on the back of its sponsorship of the England rugby team, its 'Out of darkness' campaign and the success of Extra Cold last summer.

Indeed, the 2003 heatwave acted as a spur to the market, prompting more outdoor drinking occasions, such as barbecues. However, last autumn's Rugby World Cup had only a slight effect on grocery multiples' beer and lager sales - possibly because viewers congregated in pubs to watch the games.

Stella Artois continues to dominate the category, growing in line with the market. The one brand that suffered a significant sales decline was Beck's, down 14%, due to a lack of promotions.

SPIRITS - £1385m-£1390m

Despite its high value, the spirits category's growth, at 5%, is significantly lower than wine or beer and lager, largely due to the more seasonal appeal of spirits brands and low purchase frequency.

The category had mixed results. While Bell's Scotch Whisky tops the table following a 14% rise in sales, its nearest whisky rivals, The Famous Grouse and Teachers, experienced 8% and 12% slumps respectively.

There are five whisky brands in the top ten, which is surprising given its narrow appeal compared with spirits that have launched ready-to-drink (RTD) line extensions. Baileys, the number two brand, for example, has introduced RTD Glide and Minis, both of which are performing well and could have a positive long-term effect on the brand.

Rival RTDs Bacardi Breezer and Smirnoff Ice declined, though, as drinkers have migrated to beer and lager or possibly their mother brands. Indeed, Smirnoff Red grew by an impressive 26%, thanks in part to a £3m ad campaign and packaging that focuses on the drink's Russian heritage.

The biggest challenge is to increase the category's appeal to younger consumers and home drinkers, says a TNS Superpanel analyst. 'Spirits drinking tends to be an on-trade occasion. Manufacturers must get to grips with the off-trade market; this is where the drinks market as a whole is heading.'

TOP 10 WINE

Rnk Brand Value %

(pounds m) chng

1 Blossom Hill 75-80 41

2 Jacob's Creek 60-65 18

3 Ernest & Julio Gallo 60-65 15

4 Stowells of Chelsea 60-65 -1

5 Hardys Banrock Station 50-55 30

6 Lindemans 45-50 -6

7 Kumala 45-50 -15

8 Hardys Stamp 40-45 -7

9 Namaqua 35-40 137

10 Hardys Varietal 35-40 71

Source: TNS Superpanel

TOP 10 BEER AND LAGER

Rnk Brand Value %

(pounds m) chng

1 Stella Artois 305-310 11

2 Carling 145-150 22

3 Grolsch 95-100 -1

4 Foster's 90-95 30

5 Budweiser 75-80 36

6 Carlsberg 70-75 33

7 Carlsberg Export 70-75 27

8 Kronenbourg 1664 65-70 6

9 Guinness 40-45 27

10 Beck's 35-40 -14

Source: TNS Superpanel

TOP 10 SPIRITS

Rnk Brand Value %

(pounds m) chng

1 Bell's Scotch Whisky 80-85 14

2 Baileys 70-75 6

3 Smirnoff Red Vodka 65-70 26

4 The Famous Grouse 60-65 -8

5 Grant's Vodka 50-55 -7

6 Bacardi White Rum 50-55 3

7 Gordon's Gin 50-55 28

8 Teachers Scotch Whisky 45-50 -12

9 Grant's Scotch Whisky 40-45 7

10 Bruce & Co Scotch Whisky 35-40 1

Source: TNS Superpanel

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Adidas agrees £750m kit deal with Manchester United
Cloud Atlas author David Mitchell writes new novel just for Twitter
Adidas and Nike both claim real-time World Cup marketing success
TfL targets road rage with emotive campaign
Premier League rolls back into town with moody BT Sport ad
Amazon asks permission to trial Prime Air drone delivery service
Brands celebrate Germany's World Cup triumph
Morrisons' pun-tastic ads show off new London delivery service
Ex-Thomas Cook marketer Mike Hoban resurfaces at Morrisons
Barbour creates real-time illustrations of consumers' stories for summer campaign
Viral review: Samsung goes for Apple’s jugular but fails to connect
View from Brazil: why we didn't believe we could lose the World Cup
Heineken unveils ‘Open Your City’ drive with Metro for ‘men of the world’
Unilever continues portfolio 'reshaping' with Slim-Fast sale
Amazon to fight US authorities over in-app purchase claims
Google set to invest $100m in Europe's tech start-ups
Metcalfe's set to release quirky debut TV ad
Samsung pities the iPhone 'wall huggers'
Smirnoff campaign aims to make Formula One less elitist
Apple wins EU battle to register store layout as trademark
Marketing directors need to step outside 'marketing box' to earn seat on the board
Hottest virals: Burger King’s emotional gay pride Whopper ad, plus Apple and Guinness
Developer creates software enabling Google Glass mind-control
Kick-ass girl beats up shopping centre staff in music video
Top 10 ads of the week: Aldi's World Cup cider ad scores with consumers
Sony relives Germany's 7-1 victory against Brazil in Subbuteo Vine
Burberry credits 9% revenue hike on strong online sales and 'more targeted marketing'
Ritz returns to UK TV screens after 30-year hiatus
Mars creates chief health and wellbeing officer role
Brands make the most of Germany's dramatic victory over Brazil