As the UK economy continues to prosper, allowing consumers to indulge themselves more readily and regularly, spirits consumption in the UK is rising. More people are entertaining and drinking at home, and younger consumers still want to drink at the most fashionable outlets, propelling the renewed interest in cocktails and premium brands. The growing number of new, young consumers of alcohol has ensured continued demand for premiun packaged spirits, notably Bacardi Breezer and Smirnoff Ice. This certainly helps to push the branded message, although some commentators believe that PPSs are preventing the increased consumption of white rum and vodka. Spirits are a highly profitable category in relation to the retail space occupied. Retailers could be encouraged to merchandise mixers alongside spirits and take advantage of additional impulse business. Tequila should be displayed next to vodka as vodka drinkers are more likely to consume it. Although overall on-off distribution split has remained fairly consistent over the last five years, the pattern is not the same for each of the main product groups. Approximately three quarters of all vodka and gin is now sold in the off-trade, while white rum is split almost evenly. Other white spirits are predominantly sold through the on-trade. Independents and convenience stores continue to struggle against the might of the multiples, although some hope the arrival of outlets like Tesco Metro will give this channel renewed impetus. It is clear, however, that the 24-hour opening of many multiples ­ particularly in Greater London ­ has had a detrimental effect on independents ­ and c-stores' business. {{P&P }}