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Liqueurs Brand Champion 2018: Baileys

Baileys: ‘A premium adult treat’

Solid growth over the past four years and a number of innovative new products has catapulted Baileys to the position of Liqueurs Brand Champion 2018.

Baileys’ growth last year has been attributed to its most recent marketing effort, which aimed to position the Irish cream liqueur as an “adult treat” and open up more drinking occasions for consumers to enjoy the product.

“Baileys is an incredibly strong brand,” explains Grainne Wafer, Baileys’ global brand director. “We had no issue with how our brand is seen, but there were just fewer occasions to drink Baileys. We have been trying to step beyond the liqueurs category and reframe Baileys as a premium adult treat.”

The Diageo­-owned cream liqueur has introduced several new products into its portfolio in this past year. But at the core of any new release, insists Wafer, is a genuine response to new consumer demands. “For example, when we introduced Almande, it was to meet a growing demand from ‘free-from’ consumers,” she says.

However, Wafer notes that volume growth last year was predominantly driven by the brand’s core expression. “I think this is really important if a brand hopes to remain healthy and grow into the future,” she adds.

In such a varied market, Wafer believes having a distinctive identity is key to success for any liqueurs producer.

“Baileys is a really distinctive brand, it has been around since 1974 and I would describe it as one of Diageo’s biggest innovations,” she says. “Baileys has always been about quality ingredients and delicious serves, and that is the way we have marketed it. This is what makes it distinctive in terms of branding and the product itself.”

Analyse the wider liqueurs sector and the picture of a healthy year emerges, with a number of brands displaying rapid growth. Lubelska posted the highest rate of growth in the category (14.7%) as it rebounded to sales of 1.5m cases. Amarula was able to turn around three years of declines to post a double-­digit increase of 10.5%.

However, 2017 proved troublesome for De Kuyper and Žołądkowa Gorzka, which reported declines of 5.9% and 10% respectively.

*The Brand Champions data is listed to one decimal place for ease of reading, but the percentage changes are based on the full data supplied. All brand data is supplied in millions of nine-­litre cases.

Liqueurs (figures: million 9l case sales)

BRAND OWNER 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 %+/­-
Baileys Diageo 6.5 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.9 7.8%
Malibu Pernod Ricard 3.7 3.4 3.4 3.6 3.7 2.8%
De Kuyper Beam Suntory/De Kuyper 2.2 2.3 2.2 2.2 2.0 -5.9%
Kahlúa Pernod Ricard 1.6 1.6 1.5 1.5 1.6 6.7%
Lubelska Stock Spirits Group 2.5 1.8 1.3 1.3 1.5 14.7%
Žołądkowa Gorzka Stock Spirits Group 1.4 1.2 1.4 1.5 1.4 -10.0%
Amarula Distell 1.4 1.3 1.2 1.1 1.2 10.5%
Cointreau Rémy Cointreau 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.2 1.8%

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