By James Atkinson
Retailers are being forced to pick up the tab for the abundance of new spirits products that have failed to resonate with consumers, according to Porter's Liquor boss Giuseppe Minissale.
New product development has been the liquor industry catch-cry over the last 12 months, but Minissale told TheShout there are a lot of "me-too" spirits products that have failed.
"There's no doubt something like Wild Turkey American Honey is working, but you could name five honey bourbons that haven't worked," he said.
Minissale said it is very hard for retailers to offload excess stock of the unsuccessful spirits products because of the high cost component.
"With beer you can break them up and sell them as singles or six-packs, with wine you can put it in a mixed dozen," he said.
"But when you get a six-pack of spirits that's not selling, you can't do anything – all you can do is reduce price and lose money. So you've got no ability to amortise your margin over that six-pack of spirits."
"When you try to quit them out, it actually costs you a serious bit of coin."
'Wasted retail space'
Minissale said the overwhelming amount of NPD is becoming more and more of an issue, considering what is happening across the various spirits categories.
"If you think of all the new spiced rums, new vodkas, new honey liqueur spirits that have come out just in the last 12 months, they would have taken up thousands of dollars worth of retail space at very little return," he said.
"It's impacted on the margins of the retailers significantly to try and quit that stock out, or let it just sit on the shelves and wait for it to eventually die out."