Diageo saw pricing rise 2.9% in Q1, according to Nielsen figures

Diageo saw pricing rise 2.9% in Q1, according to Nielsen figures

Both Diageo and Pernod Ricard saw spirits sales in the US off-trade dip in volume terms in the first quarter, thanks in part to price rises, according to recent figures.

Statistics from Nielsen, highlighted by Investec Securities late last week, showed that Diageo's volumes in the three months to the end of March were down by 1.5% year-on-year, as pricing rose by 2.9%. Pernod, meanwhile, saw volumes dip by 0.8% on a pricing increase of 3.2%.

The figures clearly indicate that the premiumisation trend continues in the US spirits category, Investec noted, as "consumers trade up into luxury brands".

Spirits brands that caught the analyst's attention in the quarter were Diageo's Smirnoff, delivering a volume increase of 7%, and Pernod's Jameson Irish whiskey, which saw volumes jump by 25%.

Of the other main spirits player in the US, Brown-Forman's performance was the most impressive in the quarter, with volumes and price both rising, by 8.4% and 1.1%, respectively. Bacardi saw volumes increase by 2.1% as prices fell back by 0.5%, while Beam's 3.2% drop in volumes came as a result of a 6.6% rise in prices in the period.

Brown-Forman posted the largest market share move, up 0.3% in value terms on a year ago.