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Drinkers demand Ghost Ship, Zubrowka and San Pellegrino

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Martin Dinkele SVP 23/04/2020

Which less familiar drinks brands should you be putting front and centre?

Consumers often get bored of the same old offering and like to treat themselves to something new.

The choice of drinks brands you see on supermarket shelves (as well as in bars and restaurants when they’re open of course) is driven by a range of considerations:

What sells? What’s new? What will keep the regulars happy? What will drive incremental spend? What will help the category? What will attract new customers?

All of this is underpinned by the commercial deal negotiated between the retailer and brand owner.

However, as we know, consumers often get bored of the same old offering and like to treat themselves to something new. Using our BrandVue Drinks tool, we asked them what drinks brands they don’t see on sale as often as they’d like: in other words, where is the unmet demand?

What drinks brands would consumers like to see more of on the shelf?

  • Soft drinks: San Pellegrino and Orangina
  • Lager: Asahi and Birra Moretti
  • Craft beer: Beavertown Gamma Ray and BrewDog Elvis Juice
  • Ale: Adnams Ghost Ship and Tribute
  • Vodka: Ciroc and Zubrowka
  • Gin: Edinburgh Gin and Whitley Neill Gin
  • Mixers: Fever-Tree and Fentiman’s
  • Rum: Mount Gay and The Kraken
  • Fruit ciders: Kopparberg and Old Mout

These choices reflect a combination of factors including a lack of physical availability as well as visibility on the shelf.

Some of these brands may well be on sale in all supermarkets but, when up against established – more mentally available – competitors, they just don’t signal strongly enough to shoppers at the point of purchase.

Shoppers simply don’t “see” them.

At the other end of the scale – i.e. brands that consumers aren’t clamouring to see more of – are a number of liqueurs, aperitifs, ports, and sherries as well as some blended whisky brands. At one level this highlights the success of certain brands in these categories in terms of securing wide distribution —but it also indicates a fundamental lack of widespread consumer engagement and interest in these categories.

Seasonality is also a factor: unmet demand for Nyetimber and Chapel Down wines, as well as Graham’s Port and Shloer peaked over Christmas.

Looking at drinks’ appeal from this “unmet demand” perspective can help retailers restaurant chains and pubcos (once they can open again) answer the question: what do my customers feel is missing in my drinks offer and what might excite them especially at this difficult time— when customers can only drink at home?

The same perspective can also provide brand owners with the evidence they need to help negotiate new listings as well as protect existing listings with buyers.

Data is from Savanta’s BrandVue Drinks platform which captures and analyses the views of 96,000 UK consumers each year. The tool covers over 350 brands across different categories and so can offer a comprehensive measure of unmet demand. We can also analyse the results among users of named supermarkets, restaurants and pubs as well as different demographic subgroups.


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