Rum and speciality spirits increased their share of the UK on-trade spirits market in 2020 as drinkers chose cocktails and shots over simple serves, according to new research.

The latest CGA Brand Track survey found that the liqueurs, speciality spirits and rum categories increased their market share by 2.4 and 0.2 percentage points respectively between the reopening of the UK hospitality sector in July and the end of the year.

According to CGA, the rising popularity of liqueurs and speciality spirits was due to the increasing number of consumers drinking shots and cocktails in the aftermath of previous lockdowns.

The survey found that 17% of consumers chose to drink cocktails or shots once the hospitality sector reopened, compared with 8% electing to enjoy spirit and mixer serves.

The survey also noted that gin has ‘flourished’ in the off-trade during the UK’s lockdowns. More than a quarter (28.2%) of UK consumers said they were drinking gin at home in late 2020, compared with 21.6% of people that said they drink it while out.

However, despite ranking as the top performing category of the on-trade spirits market, growth of gin in the sector slowed in the second half of 2020. Between July and the end of 2020, gin had a 23.9% share of total spirits sales, which was down by 0.1 percentage points on the previous 12 months.

Jonathan Jones, CGA’s managing director, UK and Ireland, said: “Gin has been a boom category of the drinks market for several years now, and its sales in supermarkets have flourished during lockdown.

“But the slowdown in its market share growth in 2020 suggests that when gin drinkers are able to go out again they are tempted towards categories like cocktails that they have missed after so long away from pubs and bars.

“Gin has built great equity in the on-premise, but suppliers and operators may well have to provide consumers with fresh and compelling reasons to buy. Smart ranging with full visibility on menu, imaginative cocktails, innovative serves and impactful promotional campaigns will all be important if gin’s meteoric rise is to continue in 2021.”
Via The Spirits Business
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