White spirits, US whiskey and spiced rums make a splash

Big Number: 40 per cent of dark spirit drinkers are interested in flavoured versions of their favourite brands

The removal of the tax escalator and the cut in duty in last year's budget have had a positive effect on the market, with Mintel reporting it expects to see prices stabilise and market value increase over the next five years.

Currently much of the excitement in the spirits category is around white spirits – gin is in and vodka remains the most popular spirit to drink by a (long) shot. Research suggests 48 per cent of adults drink vodka, with the under 35s – and the 18 to 24-year-old market in particular – the most likely consumers.

In brown spirits things look slightly different. Value in the market has risen nearly 6 per cent in both the on- and off-trades between 2013 and 2015 though volume remains the same. The on-trade accounts for just over half (53 per cent) of value sales in this category but only 18 per cent of the volume, reflecting the price differential and smaller serves.

Blended whiskies and brandies continue to struggle in the pub as much as in the supermarket, while American whiskey and golden and spiced rum are thriving in both.

Interestingly, 37 per cent of adults claim to drink dark spirits in pubs and/or bars but very little of that was drunk at events such as live music nights, festivals or watching sport, which could prove an opportunity for licensees looking to make more from a lucrative category.


Supplier's eye view:

Suppliers eye view


We're launching category reports all this week, so far you can take a look at:


Cider: the bubble has truly burst

Wine: Italy is shaking up the fizz category

Soft drinks: more and more important to pubs

Cask Beer: Craft boom brings some zest back to the pub stalwart



All statistics: Mintel

Image: ©jeffwasserman via Canva.com