Vodka in the On Premise: Five CGA insights

It’s been a tough 12 months for the spirits category, but CGA by NIQ’s data shows vodka brands still have ample opportunities for growth if suppliers can adapt to changing needs and occasions.

Total spirits sales over the last 12 months fell by 6.1% compared to the previous year, CGA’s On Premise measurement service shows. This is the result of some consumers moving away from high tempo occasions to earlier dayparts, where drinks sales are more dominated by the LAD category. Spirits have also suffered from perceptions among consumers hit by the cost-of-living crisis that longer serves offer better value for money. A quarter (26%) of consumers told CGA’s recent Pulse survey that they were drinking fewer spirits neat or with mixers because of rising costs, while only 6% were buying more.  


Despite these macro shifts, vodka has been one of the more buoyant categories within spirits. It generated £2,204m in sales in the last 12 months—a year-on-year drop of 3.0%, which is half the average of all spirits. Vodka accounts for 29.2% of all spirits bought in the On Premise—0.9 percentage points more than a year ago.  


Here are five more insights from CGA’s expert research to help suppliers sustain sales and gain share in 2024. 


1. Growth in flavoured vodka 

Consumers are increasingly interested in flavoured vodka options. They attracted  

10.3% of all vodka sales in the last 12 months—growth of 0.3 percentage points at the expense of non-flavoured vodkas. 


2. Appetite for premium options 

Despite the cost-of-living crisis, many consumers remain eager to trade up their purchases. Premium vodka sales increased share by 2.4 percentage points in the last 12 months, while standard brands lost the same proportion. However, the standard category has recovered some of its share over the last quarter as certain consumers will be tightening their spend post-December and trading down their choice of Vodka.


3. Gains in independent channels but losses in managed  

There has been another important shift in sales by channel. The managed segment still accounts for more than half (52.3%) of total vodka sales, but it has lost 1.3 percentage points of share in the last 12 months, while the free trade has gained 0.7 percentage points. Rate of sale has risen 7.5% in the free sector but fallen 5.4% in managed channels.  


4. Bar sales up, pubs down 

More than half (52.4%) of all vodka volumes flow through pubs. However, the high street pub sector has seen a steep drop in sales in the last 12 months, while bar restaurants (up 4.1%) and food pubs (up 1.8%) have achieved solid growth. Nightclub sales have plummeted 34.9% after widespread closures in the channel. 


5. A lucrative consumer base 

CGA’s OPUS data indicates the eagerness of vodka drinkers to visit pubs, bars and restaurants—especially as the cost-of-living crisis eases. They spend an average of £134 a month in the On Premise, £32 more than the average consumer. Vodka is their second most popular base for a spirit and mixer, and it also benefits from its role in cocktails, with the Pornstar Martini the top choice for consumers. 



CGA’s combination of sales measurement and consumer research provides many more insights into trends and preferences in the vodka category across the On Premise. Expert bespoke analysis is available to help suppliers perfect sales and promotional strategies and get ahead of the competition. To discover more, contact CGA’s client manager Leah Bromley here.

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