SB Picks: Top liqueurs trends

26th October, 2012 by Becky Paskin
Bols Yoghurt Liqueur Cream liqueurs

Bols has livened up the cream liqueurs category with a Yoghurt release

Culture Club: Cream Liqueurs

Yes, it’s a category dominated by Baileys, which through its various flavoured extensions of late – expect yet another in a few months – returned to growth last year with a 3% increase in volume to 6.8m nine-litre cases.

It’s also no surprise that Pernod Ricard’s Kahlúa and Distell’s Amarula are among the top 10 cream liqueurs in terms of volume, making gains of 1% and 8% respectively. But as a sub-category overall, cream liqueurs have remained flat, with volume increasing by 0.8% in 2011.

Even Diageo’s highly-anticipated launch of the Pharrell Williams-backed Qream With a Q in the US last year failed to ignite much excitement. For many, the true innovation set to turn cream liqueurs on its head is the launch of Bols’ Natural Yoghurt Liqueur.

“We see a tendency towards healthier and lighter drinks, and creamy drinks based on yoghurt fit perfectly into this trend,” said Maartje Hendrickx, marketing manager for Creamy Creation, developer of emulsified beverages.

“Especially younger women want to enjoy a delicious, fresh cocktail but don’t want to have the calorie intake. With cocktails or RTDs based on fresh yoghurt, a whole new world is opening.”

Chinese demand

Bols claims the Chinese had originally asked for a milk-based spirit, but the idea soon evolved into a natural yoghurt liqueur, presented in a coated white bottle to protect the drink from UV light, that could be used in cocktails.

“It took a long time to get the blend exactly right so it doesn’t curdle or go flakey when you mix it,” Guenael Fily, Bols commercial director, tells The Spirits Business.

Developed specifically for the Chinese market, where health and wellbeing is a major trend, Bols Yoghurt could potentially rejuvenate the cream liqueur category, forcing other producers to sit up and take note of the possibilities – particularly if alcoholic yoghurt takes off in the equally  health conscious market of the US.

Already launched in Russia, Ireland and Bulgaria, as well as China, Bols Yoghurt could also potentially reap the benefits of the Japanese market, which according to the IWSR saw a 1.8% uplift in liqueurs volumes in 2011, and is the second largest market for the category overall.

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