Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Premium brand demand shrinking'

Published:  23 July, 2008

Paul Walsh, chief executive of UK spirits company Diageo, has said demand for premium brands is shrinking'.

Despite the continued launch of super-premium vodka brands and niche gin products, Walsh believes consumers in the UK are moving towards cheaper brands. A trend for drinking what Walsh calls refreshment drinks', such as cider on ice, has hit spirits volumes in the on-trade.

Consumers are also moving to commodity brands in supermarkets, a switch that is likely to be exacerbated when the smoking ban comes into force in the UK's pubs and bars on 1 July, added Walsh. He is predicting a 3% fall in on-trade sales overall based on experience of earlier bans in Ireland and Scotland.

But, Walsh told Harpers that he would refuse to cut prices to compete, suggesting the UK market might suffer as a result. Why should I sell Bells 8 Year Old at a discount in the UK when I can sell the same liquid at a premium elsewhere? If people want Bells, then they will have to pay the proper price for it,' he said.