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Liqueurs Brand Champion 2020: Lubelska

Poland is Lubelska’s strongest market

Thanks to bartender collaborations, innovative new flavours and renewed consumer interest in the category, the liqueurs sector has been a hotbed of activity over the past 12 months.

Despite the law dictating a minimum sugar requirement for liqueurs, the category has increasingly sought to strengthen its ties to flavour variations, a move that helped Stock Spirits‐owned Lubelska post a 22.8% sales increase in 2019 and claim the title of Liqueurs Brand Champion 2020.

“Continued flavour innovation and range rotation to ensure the brand evolves with changing consumer tastes was the key driver,” says Richard Hayes, group sales and marketing director at Stock Spirits. “Strong distribution and in‐store activity execution, and sustained consumer digital communication of the brand’s ‘live colourfully’ proposition was also important.”

Lubelska was the fastest‐growing liqueur brand in 2019, and having posted sales of 1.9 million nine‐litre cases, surpassed its 2014 high. The brand’s continued growth also saw Lubelska overtake Pernod Ricard‐ owned coffee liqueur brand Kahlúa, which posted a stagnant 2019.

In order to build on Lubelska’s growth, Hayes says the brand is targeting Polish consumers in international markets. But which market is the brand’s strongest?

“Poland as this is the brand’s homeland and was the first market to sell Lubelska, plus the scale of demand for vodka‐based liqueurs in Poland,” he says. “The brand is also growing in the markets with a large Polish diaspora, such as Germany and the UK.”

Hayes also hopes a more varied flavour offering and new launches will help Lubelska appeal to a wider consumer audience. “An increasing number of young adults’ spirits usage occasions are shared ones, where there are mixed groups of male and female friends,” says Hayes.

“On these occasions, consumers are looking for a spirit that meets the taste requirements of everyone in the group, and Lubelska offers a taste profile and ABV that meets this need.

“There is also a constant requirement for novelty and new flavours, which is why we rotate our range regularly to keep pace with consumer demand for innovation.”

In the liqueurs category, there was also double‐digit growth for Stock Spirits stablemate Żołądkowa Gorzka in 2019, which increased its volume sales by 13.8% to 1.5m nine‐litre cases.

Despite strong growth in the sector, Diageo‐owned Irish cream liqueur Baileys retained its position as the best‐selling liqueur brand after increasing sales by 5.5% to 7.4m nine‐litre cases.

Pernod Ricard’s Malibu brand also reported a strong performance in 2019, with sales up by 5.5%.

However, Distell‐owned Amarula struggled to maintain sales last year, which dropped by 13.5% in 2019 to 1m nine‐litre cases, the brand’s lowest sales in five years.

*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 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 %+/-
Baileys Diageo 6.3 6.5 6.9 7.1 7.4 5.5%
Malibu Pernod Ricard 3.4 3.6 3.7 3.7 3.9 5.5%
De Kuyper Beam Suntory/De Kuyper 3.7 3.6 3.5 3.5 3.5 -0.9%
Lubelska Stock Spirits Group 1.3 1.3 1.5 1.5 1.9 22.8%
Kahlúa Pernod Ricard 1.5 1.5 1.6 1.6 1.6 0.0%
Żołądkowa Gorzka Stock Spirits Group 1.4 1.5 1.4 1.3 1.5 13.8%
Choya Choya Umeshu 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.3 1.2 -7.8%
Cointreau Rémy Cointreau 1.1 1.1 1.2 1.2 1.2 0.0%
Amarula Distell 1.2 1.1 1.2 1.2 1.0 -13.5%

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