Sweet and stylish scene-stealers have created a £1bn extravaganza designed to please impetuous youth P remium packaged spirits are changing the shape of the drinks fixture. They have stolen share from almost every other drinks category and built a market of their own out of the demands of younger consumers. Young drinkers don't want what their parents drink, they don't want anything difficult or sophisticated ­ but what they do want, they want now. To that end, single serve bottles of sweet, fruit flavoured fizzy drinks with the alcoholic strength of premium lager and stylish packaging have created a £1bn market (on and off trade) which is growing faster than any other sector. They have also put extra life into the spirits market, particularly their parent brands. The latest ACNielsen figures for the 12 months to the end of August indicate the sector is growing at 46% and, despite the influx of me-too brands, it is still dominated by the brand leader Bacardi Breezer which has 28.7% (value) of the market. Guinness UDV has staked its claim in the sector, first with Smirnoff Ice and this year with Archer's Aqua. Commercial director Tony Mair says: "We are expecting a very good Christmas for the category and we can produce and supply whatever the trade needs." This is in the wake of supply problems for Archer's Aqua immediately after launch when demand was underestimated. Karen Salters, marketing manager at Beverage Brands, which produces WKD and Woody's Cocktails, is gearing up for a move in the category to bigger packs. "Consumers are trading up so we expect to see growth in multipack and multiserve options. Multipacks are up 108% year on year. "Tailormade, added value multipack promotions will make the brands attractive propositions pre-Christmas." The growth of the sector is slowing, but there are innovative launches, the latest of which is Matthew Clark's introduction of fcuk spirit. Salters suggests this is as a result of the market maturing and its greater scale. The average price point is also reducing. "Last year the category was not given enough space by the multiples. This year there are signs that there will be more space available." She says the multiples have also steered away from the lower strength (4% abv) me-too products to ensure the sector is kept as premium as possible. {{FOCUS SPECIALS }}