Source: Heineken

Heineken’s Cruzcampo lager is this year’s sensation in the alcohol category. The Spanish brew has stormed into the top 100 brands with a £29.6m gain – just eight months after making its off-trade debut [NIQ 52 w/e 20 April 2024].

Having hit the on-trade in April 2023, Cruzcampo rolled into Tesco, Booker and One Stop in August. It has since shifted 10.9 million litres – the biggest absolute volume gain of any booze brand this year, The Grocer’s Britain’s Biggest Alcohol Brands report shows.

Cruzcampo, which kicked off its £10m ‘Choose to Cruz’ push this April, “was officially the biggest brand launch in value in over a decade in the beer, wine and spirits category”, according to Heineken.

The brand had “built on success in the on-trade to gain traction in the off-trade much like Madrí did over the past few years”, said Rob Hallworth, NIQ beer insights lead.

Its success follows a triumphant year for beer, and European lagers in particular. Stella Artois, Madrí Excepcional, Corona, Guinness, Cruzcampo and BrewDog registered the six biggest absolute value gains. They are now worth an extra £197.2m combined, having seen 39.3 million more litres go through tills. Continental brews Peroni and Birrificio Angelo Poretti also registered gains in value and volumes.

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Beer brands from the UK and Australia weren’t so lucky. Both Carling and Foster’s lost a total £33.6m and suffered double-digit volume declines – the former recording the biggest absolute decline of this year’s top 100 at 22.7 million litres.

In terms of absolute value, however, Gordon’s is the largest loser – for the second year running. It’s down £26.7m. Combined with the £72.8m loss reported last year, the Diageo brand has seen £99.5m wiped from its top line in the past 24 months.

“Gordon’s continues to feel the pain of the fading gin trend, with flavoured expressions driving two-thirds of the brand’s losses,” said Jenny Dickson, NIQ spirits insights lead.

Flavoured gin as a market had experienced “another year of heavy losses, down 18.4% in value terms”, she added, pointing to shoppers cutting spend or shifting to other styles of alcohol.

Gordon’s was one of 87 top 100 booze brands to see a rise in average price per litre over the past year. At the same time, 63 registered volume declines.