AS one of the most varied and versatile drinks categories, speciality spirits and liqueurs is, perhaps unexpectedly, the seventh most valuable segment of wet sales in the Scottish on-trade.
And although it wasn’t a vintage year for the category, with CGA data showing sales of liqueurs and speciality spirits dropped 5.6% in the past year after growth of 3.6% the previous year, the category is still worth £117.3 million in Scotland’s pubs and bars – a figure which, according to the CGA data, puts liqueurs and speciality spirits ahead of Scotch whisky, rum and gin in value terms in the nation’s bars and pubs.
When it comes to the brands within the category, there’s been very little movement in the rankings since last year.
Jägermeister maintains its position as the biggest liqueur brand in the Scottish on-trade in value terms and moved down the overall brand rankings one place to 17th.
Maintaining the profile of the herbal liqueur brand has been key for Mast-Jaegermeister UK, the firm behind the brand in Britain, which relaunched the Craft the Moment marketing campaign earlier this year. It also introduced a super-premium version of the drink, Manifest, earlier this year; with a higher ABV of 38% and extra botanicals added to the 56 herbs, roots and spices, the new variant is said to have a “unique taste profile, albeit one that is distinctly Jägermeister”.
The value of liqueurs and speciality spirits in the Scottish on-trade is ahead of Scotch, rum and gin.
Elsewhere in the category, amaretto-flavoured liqueur Disaronno edged into the top five brands in the category, and climbed two places in the overall brand ranking to the 48th-biggest liqueur brand in the Scottish on-trade in value terms.
Southern Comfort was listed as the sixth-biggest liqueur brand in Scotland’s pubs and bars this year, according to the CGA data, and 53rd in the overall brands listing.
New owner, Sazerac, said it is putting significant investment behind Southern Comfort globally, with plans to highlight the brand’s New Orleans provenance, promoting it as ‘The Spirit of New Orleans’.
As well as new labelling to convey the brand’s heritage, the bottles have been made taller and narrower; and UK distributor Hi-Spirits is set to launch the 50% ABV Southern Comfort 100 Proof expression exclusively in the on-trade.
The rest of the category is unchanged, with Sourz retaining second place, and 29th in the overall rankings; Diageo-owned Baileys occupying the third spot in the liqueurs and speciality spirits category, and Luxardo in fourth place.