Published On: 27/09/20215.2 min read
Discover the 7 Most Popular Alcohol Brands in the UK

Over the years, alcohol brands have continued to thrive among the British public, as consumers increase their alcohol spending both at home, as well as in bars and restaurants.

Numbers talk, and tapping into the minds of the British public will allow international wholesalers and retailers to have a better understanding of which brands are best behind their bars and on their shelves.

Top 7 Best-Selling Alcohol In The UK

From Lagers to spirits – We’ve collated the seven most popular alcohol brands in the UK, according to a 2021 report by The Grocer.

7.) Strongbow

Strongbow is up by £50.8m and is continuing to thrive as the UK’s most loved cider brand. The Dark Fruits variant has propelled the Strongbow brand even further since the variant’s launch in 2014.

The most recent product Strongbow has introduced to their range is the new Rosé cider. As a result of this, the brand has seen further increases in sales, with a 292% uptick.

Furthermore, subsequent to Strongbow’s launch of a free from artificial sweeteners range in 2019, the brand’s been able to strongly compete with craft competitors over the last 2 years.   core cider alone has added £4.9m to the brand’s revenue.

6.) Carling

Unsurprisingly, Carling’s core lager products flourished during the height of stay-at-home drinking, as sales increased by 14.6%.

During the summer of 2020, the brand joined the ‘Support Your Local” trend, despite a significant reduction in UK operations throughout the year.

In total, the popular brand has sold an additional 22.9 million litres, despite their high-end product, Carling Premier’s sales dropping by 2%.

5) Foster’s

Foster’s boasts annual sales revenue of £428m, a percentage growth of 8.0%. Their core product line is responsible for the majority of the brand’s growth this year, selling a further 14.4million litres compared to 2020. However, compared to the likes of its biggest competitors, (Stella Artois and Carling) – the brand has struggled to reach double figure growth.

Despite being the UK’s third most popular beer brand, Fosters has found difficulty when it comes to the growing ‘premiumisation’ trend amongst consumers. Over the past 12 months it would appear that British drinkers have opted for craft and premium lager brands.

4) Budweiser

Boasting an annual growth rate of 21.3%, Budweiser focused heavily on sport when it came to their brand campaigns, resulting in a £91.7m profit gain over the last 12 months.

The brand bagged the honour of being the official beer brand of the English Premier League and the England men’s football squad. Alongside this, Budweiser also brought back the notable “Whassup” TV advert from 1999.

With at home drinking occurring much more due to government restrictions, football and other sporting events were enjoyed from the comfort of our own homes. Consequently, there was an increase in Budweiser’s 20 bottle pack, which in turn has driven sales alone at 30%.

3)  Gordon’s

Popular gin brand Gordon’s has had an incredibly successful year with a growth of 23.9%, taking their annual sales to a total of £538.3m.

Formally, Gordon’s Pink was leading the pack as its strongest product over the last 10 years.

However, the products sales are declining as they fell by £6.2m alone this year. Turning the state of play around this year for Gordon’s has been their newest additions to the pack with flavoured gin products, including: White Peach, Sicilian Lemon and Mediterranean Orange.

The total sales gain from the trio is £66.3m, which fortunately heavily outweighs the loss of Pink’s revenue.
It would appear that despite early predictions that the gin boom had reached the end of the road, gin product sales under the Gordon brand especially, have continued to sky rocket.

Diageo has also launched 0% alcohol versions of it’s staple gin and tonic cans, which were introduced in April 2021, as it looks to capitalise on ever-changing customer demands across the globe and in the UK.

2) Smirnoff

Britain’s most loved vodka brand has had a growth of 20.6%, as their annual sales accumulate to £571.8m. Selling a whopping 34.3 million litres over the past 12 months, the majority of the brand’s revenue has come from it’s core product, No.21.

Other aspects of the brand’s product portfolio includes Lime and Raspberry, which are currently in decline, as opposed to Vanilla Vodka that has seen a value increase of £103.7k.

Similar to the story of other popular alcohol brands, the brand’s popular Smirnoff Ice has seen an increase in sales as it adds £8.9m to the overall value of sales in the last 12 months.

1) Stella Artois

Despite some consumers of the most popular alcohol brand in the UK bearing some grudges earlier on due to an abv change from 4.8% to 4.6% – Stella Artois has continued to rake in the pounds as 30 million more litres have been sold over the past year.

Once more, this brand has also benefited from at-home drinking with total annual sales of £573.4m, a growth of 7.6%.  Their alcohol-free variant has helped the brand through times such as Dry January, Easter and Christmas – pulling in £1.9m in its first year, whilst Stella Artois core lager had a net gain of £83.2m.  Stella Cidre’s raspberry and apple variants have a combined value of less than £2m.

Similar to other brands throughout the past year, Stella Artois has had to think on it’s feet when it comes to encouraging sales of their products. Teaming up with PerfectDraft, Stella promoted their kegs as the perfect accompaniment, leading to more than 15,000 sales of the Perfect Draft Stella Starter Bundles. Once pubs and bars re-opened in the summer of 2020, the brand launched another campaign called “The Life of Artois” which was centred around spending time with family and friends.

The rest of 2020 saw the brand battle with another lockdown and other government restrictions, resulting in more innovative campaigning such as “Mystery in the Life of Artois”. The limited edition product included Amazon Alexa integration, four chalices, a vinyl record and four bottles of beer.

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