Premium products will be key to growth in the wine and spirits market this Christmas, according to Pernod Ricard.

With volume sales of wine and spirits flat, retailers should focus on upselling particularly in the wine aisle, where the opportunity was relatively untapped and there was too much dependence on price and promotions, said the producer.

"Promotions have a role to play in driving footfall in-store, but an over-reliance on price alone is not allowing the drinks industry to realise the full benefits of premium wine," said Pernod Ricard wine director Lee James. He added that retailers should stock a selection of premium wines (those priced between £6.40 and £8.50) alongside cheaper bottles.

The suggestion was made as the company revealed its Christmas product line-up, which includes a new premium whisky gift pack (rsp: £12) and the first-ever Beefeater gin pack to have a festive theme.

With sales of 35cl spirits growing 8.8% year-on-year and outperforming the total spirits market [Nielsen 52w/e 16 April 2011], the company is also extending its use of the smaller format, taking its range of 35cl spirits from five to seven with this month's additions of Beefeater and The Glenlivet whisky.

The company has also announced a 20% increase in spend on consumer marketing for its key spirits brands in the run-up to the festive season, and a new push for premium wine brand Campo Viejo.