Sir: Your excellent report on the top 100 alcoholic brands (‘How we are drinking less,’ 21 July) touches on some important points around minimum pricing and the above-inflation duty increases.

However, I believe one of the most interesting things is the importance of promotions.

Over the past few years, the performance of premium lager has been largely driven by how much Stella Artois puts behind its flagship brand in terms of price promotions. We are now seeing a similar effect within the spirits category.

Our research shows 24% of women aged 18 to 24 drink vodka most often, which is why so many spirits promotions appeal to younger women. The question is, how well can big brands survive without massive promotional support? The jury is still out on whether Stella Artois Cidre will hold its performance once marketing is turned down and it has to rely on brand and taste, which is how about 50% of adults choose which cider to buy.

Tim Wilson, managing director, Wilson Drinks Report