GBL International managing director Steve Perez believes the Chancellor's tax increase could drive consumers away from premium packaged spirits and into the full strength spirits market. "It is quite likely consumers will move into the shooters and shots market because they perceive them as better value alcohol hits and legislation against shooters will be very difficult. "The government should be encouraging people to drink PPSs rather than pushing them towards spirits." He adds: "Why should the PPS products have 61% more duty than beer or wine? The trouble is they are not seen in the same way as quaint little cider makers or microbrewers. The fear we have is of what the government will do next to prevent investment and innovation in the future. "We have been victims of our own success, but I think the category will stand it, although I suspect everyone will lose a bit of margin." Perez believes malt based alternatives are on the cards, but says it is still not clear how Customs and Excise will treat them. He says his VK brand has had major successes in the UK and is exported worldwide. The latest innovation is the introduction of the range in 500ml cans. {{FOCUS SPECIALS }}