Two more PPSs aunched despite a cramped market

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Marketing, Alcoholic beverage, Alcopop

Another two premium-packaged spirits (PPS) have been launched into the on-trade despite fears from within the industry that the category is at...

Another two premium-packaged spirits (PPS) have been launched into the on-trade despite fears from within the industry that the category is at bursting point.

Veba, a 5.4 per cent sweet and sour cherry flavoured derivative of Vladivar vodka, and Archers Aqua, a range of schnapps based drinks currently being tested in four flavours, will join an already highly competitive PPS market now worth £546million.

Despite its status as the world's fastest growing drinks sector, the category is still dominated by two major contenders, Smirnoff Ice and Bacardi Breezer, and many industry observers predict that the majority of smaller brands will fall by the wayside.

Martin Hayward, director of consumer consultancy at The Henley Centre - an international consultancy that anticipates consumer demands - predicted that within a few years only the best-supported brands would still be around.

"You will always get companies trying to get a small piece of a growing market. However, you only have to look at the state of the alcopops category a few years ago when hundreds of new brands flooded the market - how many are left today?"

Mark McGrath, operations manager of the Eldridge Pope-owned Toad pub brand, added: "It's an incredibly important category and without it I think the pub trade would be seriously struggling. However, there are a lot of sub-standard products around and while I don't think there is a saturation point for the quality brands, there is a saturation limit for those trying to jump on the bandwagon."

As the market matures a number of brands have been released to compete on price alone and according to Joe Woods, founder of Beverage Brands - the company behind WKD - it is these lesser-known brands that will struggle leaving only five or six established brands.

"You need a unique selling point and there must be a gap that needs to be filled," said Woods.

More than a hundred Bass Leisure Retail outlets will exclusively stock Veba for eight weeks before it's rolled-out nationally. Paul Murray, senior marketing manager at Maxxium UK, said: "Following extensive consumer research into taste, name, branding and look, we are certain that Veba offers the consumer a drinking experience that is different enough to stand-out from the crowd."

Related topics: Beer, Ready to Drink

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