Although we are still within the first year of MUP being implemented, there are already some notable emerging trends in alcohol purchases in independent c-stores in Scotland. Beer increased its value share within Alcohol by 1.6% in May – December 2018 vs the same period last year (although this could be the consequence of the wonderful weather last summer & the World Cup). RTD/High Strength Premixes increased pack volume (number of bottles, cans, multi-packs sold) share by +1.7%. Cider was affected more than other Alcohol categories: pack volume declined by -8% vs the same point last year. However, cider products still contributed 17.6% of alcohol pack volume sales in c-stores, only down -3.4% to the same period last year.
Wine and Spirits Y-on-Y value sales grew at a below average rate in May – December 2018 (14.4% and 13.9% respectively) and both categories saw a slight decline in their relative category share within Alcohol compared to the same period in the previous year. C-store shoppers spent more on fortified wine and vermouth and premium vodka than in the same period in 2017. Value sales of Gin nearly doubled (+92%) year on year, which is in line with the overall UK trend.
Being able to compete on a par with supermarkets and offer added convenience such as chilled beer, RTDs and cider, c-stores in Scotland (and in Wales from summer 2019) are well placed to benefit from alcohol sales and provide a growing and exciting channel for suppliers.