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Successfully navigating the alcohol and beverage industries require brands to keep tabs on emerging market trends and respond accordingly.

Consumer tastes fluctuate from year to year, and reliable unit shifters can fall out of favor fast.

One of the larger trends taking shape right now is the growing popularity of spirits. According to the Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS), while beer remains the most popular alcoholic beverage in the United States, liquor has steadily closed the gap over the past several years. In 2017, spirits accounted for 36.6 percent of the total alcohol sales in the U.S.

How can liquor brands capitalize on this trend and turn demand into profit?

Embrace premium products

The areas of the liquor industry that have seen the largest growth are high-end product lines. DISCUS revealed that revenue for premium and super premium units increased 7.1 percent and 6.1 percent, respectively, last year.

“Adult consumers, particularly millennials, continue to gravitate toward high-end and super premium spirits products,” said DISCUS Chief Economist David Ozgo. “Companies are creating excitement in the marketplace with new products and new technologies to interact with spirits customers.”

Liquor brands should push their premium lines harder than ever, making sure there is ample supply to meet consumer demand.

Refine store planograms

The liquor industry needs to shift gears with their in-store operations to address customer trends and place popular items in the best position on store shelves to grab the attention of shoppers. This is especially important in the case of high-end products, which should be placed at eye level so they stand out.

Liquor brands may need to go back to the drawing board with their planograms to map out display layouts so they are focused around the high-end spirits that customers crave. Even finalized plans need to be continually refined to keep pace with changing customer trends on a local level. Using mobile execution management software, field representatives can quickly and accurately report on store layouts, product facings, and inventory to provide a complete picture of conditions at specific locations.

Track product movement

To stay ahead of shifting liquor industry trends, brands should continually monitor product movement from store to store. They may find that interest in premium and super premium spirits isn’t quite as high in certain regions. By tracking SKU sales and product interactions at a granular level, brands can readily identify what kinds of spirits are in demand in different areas of the country and shift inventory around as needed.

There’s plenty of opportunity for growth in the liquor industry. Brands that leverage store-level reporting and analytics tools will be able to capitalize on current trends and increase their revenue.

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