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."

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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  1. The biggest failure coming from NPD out of the Spirit / RTD segment is that NPD is not actually growing the retailers margin or category. Therefore retailers are left with share shift from profitable brands or other profitable categories into lower margin NPD and lower terms from some suppliers NPD. Suppliers need to concentrate on growing retailers margin and category as a whole as their first priority rather then just steal share.

  2. My Husband and I own a bottleshop and down here, especially in winter, cream liqueurs do very well. We had a representative come in and present a product named Molly’s and were very hesitant to try it in store, but upon tasting the product, we were delighted! We placed it right next to Bailey’s and we sold all of our Molly’s stock within a few days! Retailers may just need to focus on products that are quality, with a noticeable price difference. That way, we all play it safe in an industry that is crowded with dud products.

  3. you just sold Molly’s at a lower margin. Let’s hope you don’t take up a consultancy role to the industry.

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