Liqueurs Brand Champion 2019: Baileys

15th June, 2019 by admin
Baileys is "expanding its seasonality" beyond Christmas

Baileys is “expanding its seasonality” beyond Christmas

In an age when sugar is public enemy number one, a category that is required by law to contain a minimum quantity of the sweet stuff must work extra hard to retain its audience. However, in spite of health trends that could have thwarted the category’s success, overall, liqueurs appear to be in reasonably good shape. Figures from Euromonitor show the category has enjoyed year­-on­-year growth since 2016, with case sales reaching 112.3m in 2018.

At the million­-case end of the sector, growth has been marginal – but a slight increase is always better than none. Steering the sector in the right direction with a mix of innovation and occasion-­led marketing is Baileys, which has held on to the title of Liqueurs Brand Champion for a second year in a row. The Diageo­-owned brand, which boasts the biggest volume sales of all liqueurs (7.1m cases), shifted 2.6% more cases in 2018 than in 2017.

“Baileys had a fantastic year last year, and that really comes off the back of our three­-year strategy, which is all about repositioning Baileys,” says Gráinne Wafer, global brand director for Baileys. “From our insight, we saw millions of people across the world love Baileys, but they had relatively few occasions to drink it.”

Often seen as a Christmas tipple, Baileys has been busy highlighting its “deliciousness and versatility across a range of different occasions” as part of this strategy. A series of line extensions accompanied this move, starting with Baileys Almande in 2017, a vegan-­friendly iteration of the iconic original. This was joined by Baileys Strawberries and Cream in 2018, which launched in the UK and North America. Bottled at 17% abv, the expression is recommended served over ice or added to dessert recipes, such as strawberry shortcake.

“We’re expanding the seasonality of Baileys beyond the Christmas occasion,” explains Wafer, who adds that the biggest challenge for the brand is “people who love the brand but don’t think about it when they’re in ‘treat’ occasions or moments”.

Throughout the rest of this year and into the next, Baileys intends to ramp up its efforts to showcase its versatility by extending its Treat Bar experiential pop­up, which opened at the Edinburgh Christmas Market last year. “The experience economy is a really big trend,” notes Wafer. “Consumers are looking for ways of engaging with products that are more tangible and Instagrammable as well.”

Looking to the rest of the million­-case­-selling liqueurs, Rémy Cointreau reported a slight uplift in sales for it Cointreau liqueur brand, which grew 0.9% in 2018 – as did Illva Saronno’s Disaronno.

Stock Spirits Group’s Lubelska reported solid single­-digit growth of 5.5%, but the company’s Žołądkowa Gorzka tumbled by 4.6%. Pernod Ricard’s coconut­-flavoured Malibu also faced difficulties and declined by 1.1%.

*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 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 %+/-
Baileys Diageo 6.2 6.3 6.5 6.9 7.1 2.6%
Malibu Pernod Ricard 3.4 3.4 3.6 3.7 3.7 -1.1%
De Kuyper Beam Suntory/De Kuyper 2.3 2.2 2.2 2.0 2.0 0.4%
Kahlúa Pernod Ricard 1.6 1.5 1.5 1.6 1.6 0.6%
Lubelska Stock Spirits Group 1.8 1.3 1.3 1.5 1.5 5.5%
Žołądkowa Gorzka Stock Spirits Group 1.2 1.4 1.5 1.4 1.3 -4.6%
Choya Choya Umeshu 1.3 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.3 5.0%
Disaronno Illva Saronno 1.2 1.1 1.2 1.2 1.2 0.9%
Cointreau Rémy Cointreau 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.2 1.2 0.9%

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