Retailers appear to have chosen Baileys as their weapon of choice in the annual Christmas drinks discounting war.
The brand has dropped below the £10 mark for a one-litre bottle a week earlier than it did last year, and it has already reached a lower price in two multiples - £9.86 in Asda and Tesco - than the lowest price of £9.88 per litre recorded in Grocer research last year.
The continued hammering of Baileys’ price point will come as a blow to supplier Diageo, which is investing £5m in supporting the brand before Christmas.
Although off-trade managing director Benet Slay previously admitted the price of Baileys would probably drop even lower this Christmas, he said the importance of pricing was sometimes over-estimated in the run-up to Christmas.
Baileys is the clear leader in the cream liqueur category over the Christmas period, with its share of the market increasing by 7% to 66% over the period last year [ACNielsen, MAT to Christmas 2004].
Andy Corris, brand manager for Amarula at First Drinks Brands, said: “Amarula does not need to discount as it is a premium liqueur brand that people choose to buy for its quality and unique African heritage. Deep price discounting within the category therefore doesn’t affect us.
“This Christmas we are investing heavily in consumer sampling and added-value promotions such as on-pack competitions to win luxury holidays to Africa.”
Despite deep discounting, Baileys last year managed to knock its rival, Allied Domecq’s Tia Lusso brand, off the shelves permanently.