Beer and lager are losing promotional ground to wines and spirits, Assosia's latest research for Promotrack has revealed.

The beer and lager sub-category fell from second to third place in the top five drinks category chart last weekend, placing it behind both wine and spirits.

Wine continued to dominate alcohol promotions, accounting for 38% of offers across the five retailers. The preferred mechanic was 'save', on 49% of offers and the top five brands were Hardys, Jacob's Creek, Wolf Blass, Montana and First Cape.

Spirits overtook beer and lager to take second place and 28% of activity last weekend, with 85% of offers using save. The top five brands were Smirnoff, Gordon's, Pimms, Bacardi and Bell's.

Beer and lager accounted for 25% of activity. The preferred mechanic for the beer and lager last weekend was x-for-y, which accounted for 66% of offers, with save second with 30%.

Some 19 points behind, in fourth place last weekend was cider with 6% of space. The x-for-y mechanic was preferred and was used on 64% of its offers, with save on 36%.

Sparkling wine sneaked in at the bottom of the top five chart last weekend with the remaining 3% of activity, with promotions in Sainsbury's, Tesco and Morrisons using half price.

Wine has built on last year's lead to account for 45% of activity in the year-to-date chart, compared with 26% for beer and lager, and 20% for spirits.

Stella Artois, which continues to lead the overall alcohol brand chart, has helped beer and lager category retain second place as have other leading brands Carling, Becks, Grolsch and Boddingtons. However, beer and lager's share has dropped five percentage points on 2007 to 26%.

Spirits remains in third place, its share having dropped only one point to 20% in 2008 to date. Cider's share has increased by two points to to 7%, while sparkling wine's share remains static at 1%.