Diageo GB is hoping to double off-trade sales for its luxury spirit brands in the next three years to £62m by capitalising on the cocktails-at-home trend.

A 43-strong team has been created to push its Reserve Brands Group portfolio, which includes Johnnie Walker, Tanqueray and Smirnoff Black.

Olga Martinez-Garcia, formerly Diageo's marketing director for Gordon's, Pimm's and Baileys, will head the team, which covers both on and off-trades.

The brands have thrived in the on-trade as a result of the cocktail boom of the past decade, and the team aims to replicate this success in take-home.

"There has been a style bar revolution in the on-trade sector over the past 10 years, but cocktail making at home is still relatively undeveloped," said Reserve Brands Group GB sales director James Pennefather.

He predicted that the restructure would double the size of the £31m business by 2012. "The new UK unit is already working on several off-trade initiatives, including masterclasses for retailers, to give them the confidence and knowledge to up-sell and make the fixture easier for consumers to shop," he said, adding that the group would also be focusing on the £5 to £15 gifting sector.

The UK off-trade premium spirits category is worth £418m, with sales increasing 7% year-on-year [Nielsen MAT 5 September 2009], a growth rate Pennefather expected to increase to 10% in the next 12 months.

Among the other products in the Reserve Brands Group portfolio are Bulleit Bourbon, Talisker and the Classic Malts range.

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