Alcohol sales in the UK grow more than in any other country
New research from IRI shows that innovation in the drinks sector and a reduction in the amount of trade promotions has seen Alcohol retain its place as the top selling FMCG category in the UK, worth £16.1 billion (€18.2 billion) in value sales to the economy.
Posting growth of 4.4% on last year, Alcohol outsold its nearest rival, Ambient Food, by £660 million (€700 million), with Chilled & Fresh Food worth £13.5 billion (€15.2 billion) in third place, and Drinks and Personal Care taking fourth and fifth places – worth £8 billion and £6.1 billion (€9.1 billion and €7.2 billion) respectively. Alcohol sales in the UK grew more than in any other country, however total sector value grew strongly across all countries, worth €62 billion, +2.6%.
Beer was the leading growth sub-category in terms of absolute value growth year on year in five of the six countries measured. Premiumisation of beers, especially craft beers, which have gained shelf space within key retailers, helped drive sales in most countries, especially the UK (+6% yoy).
Sparkling wine was the fastest-moving sub-category in the UK with +10% growth, while Spirits saw +5% growth. Gin was the star performer in 2017, seeing a saw strong upturn in fortunes, including double digit growth in the UK (+24% yoy).
“Reduced levels of trade promotions, coupled with shallower price cuts, have played a part in bolstering topline macro category performances in the UK, Alcohol included,” comments Olly Abotorabi, Senior Regional Insights Manager at IRI.
“It’s no surprise that we’ve seen strong growth in this category, and particularly in Beer, where brands are moving towards premiumisation, delivering innovation via new flavours, and offering beers and ciders with crafty credentials. In Spirits, Gin is also proving popular, driven by a growing number of small and niche batch distillers, celebrity culture and enhanced in-store exposure via displays during key seasonal events. But price increases have hit home with UK consumers who are being much more selective in what they buy and where they shop.”