Sales of own-label alcoholic drinks have soared over the past 12 months - with growth exceeding that of brands in every part of the market.

Own-label booze now makes up 25% of the £10.9bn off-trade drinks market by value and 21.5% by volume after sales rocketed 13.6% in value and 10.3% in volume, while brand sales rose 2.1% in value - but fell 1.6% in volume [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 8 July 2012].

Consumers downed 38 million more pints of own-label beer than a year ago, while branded sales grew by just 6.4 million pints. In wine, shoppers bought 28.6 million more own-label bottles, while branded wine sales plummeted by 32.9 million bottles.

retailers had increased their own-label wine ranges, said Paul Schaafsma, Accolade Wines UK commercial general manager. “This can be cyclical, however, and a retailer may reach a tipping point and need to re-evaluate,” he added.

The latest Kantar figures follow The Grocer’s revelation earlier this year that 59 of Britain’s top 100 alcoholic drinks brands had fallen in volume in the year to April 2012 [Nielsen], with Smirnoff Red the only top 10 brand up in volume.

Sales of own-label spirits have outperformed the wider spirits category rising 4.6% against a 4.4% overall fall.

In percentage terms, the biggest difference in growth has been in RTDs, which also includes pre-mixers.Volume sales of branded RTDs have dropped 13.4% against a 25.9% increase in own-label - although brands still make up more than 90% of the market.

Own-label growth was being driven by an influx of cocktails and ready-mixed drinks, said WKD marketing director Debs Carter. Own-label and brands played complementary roles, she added. “While own-label offers value-for-money, brands provide category development through NPD and marketing innovation.”

The shift to own-label reflected the growing choice offered by own-label ranges, said Kantar.