Christmas is an important time of year for the alcohol industry in the U.K., as off-trade alcohol sales over the 12 weeks of Christmas account for around a sixth of all Christmas fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sales and a third of total annual off-trade alcohol sales. While the festive trading period has always been important, shoppers spent £116m (+2.6%) more on alcohol during Christmas last year than they did the year before—and we expect that figure rise over this festive season.
For drinks manufacturers, reaching their audience with the right ad mix at Christmas is crucial. This can be challenging, as data from Nielsen Media Impact reveals that there is no “average” alcohol buyer. You wouldn’t get a round in without asking which drink each individual preferred, so we’ve outlined some key segmentation tips for brands looking to understand how and where to reach their specific alcohol buyers to gain the upper hand this Christmas.
Who’s who in alcohol this season
The Beer Shopper tends to be from a larger household with children, which is less affluent and younger than the average alcohol shopper at Christmas. Beer drinkers watch less TV than other alcohol buyers, but when they do, the top channels they’re watching include E4 and Sky One. Beer shoppers are more likely to be found online on sites such as eBay, Facebook community pages, LinkedIn and YouTube.
The Champagne Shopper tends to come from more affluent households. They are a smaller group, with a strong buyership from 35-44 year olds. Champagne shoppers are strongly represented in southern parts of the U.K.—London is key, along with the South and South East, while Scotland is a key area for Champagne at Christmas. Champagne buyers like to watch Dave, Sky One and E4, and the online sites they’re most likely to browse include Amazon, BBC News and Twitter.
The Gin Shopper tends to come from a more affluent, older, smaller household and are broadly located in the northern parts of the U.K.: the North East, Lancashire/border areas and Scotland. Gin shoppers spend more time watching TV than Champagne and beer buyers, with ITV2, Dave and E4 among their favourite channels. Gin shoppers can be found online on sites such as Amazon and eBay.
The Whisky Shopper shares some similarities with gin shoppers, as they tend to be from older, smaller households, yet there is a strong bias in whisky toward the older 65+ single household. Whisky shoppers tend to be from less affluent households compared with gin and average alcohol buyers and can be found watching Sky Sports, More 4, E4, Spike and 5 Star.
The Wine Shopper shares some similarities with Gin shoppers, as they are generally from more affluent, two-to-four-member households and 45+. Wine buyers are consuming more content online than on TV, and can be found on sites such as Amazon, IMDB, TripAdvisor and eBay. When they do watch TV, BBC News and Comedy Central come out on top.
The Vodka Shopper tends to be found in less-affluent, smaller households, aged 35-44 years old. They are located in the Northern parts of the U.K. (Central and North Scotland and the Lancashire/Borders). Vodka drinkers watch less TV than others; instead, they’re much more likely to be found online on sites such as YouTube, Facebook Messenger, eBay, Instagram, PayPal and Twitter.