Guinness, Bacardi and Freixenet set to be top-selling lines in BWS at Christmas, Clavis Insight shows

Clavis Insight, a leader in online retail store analytics for Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) brands, has announced the results of its pre-Christmas analysis of the online UK Beer, Wine and Spirits (BWS) categories.

The Clavis Insight Index (CI2) for leading UK online stores shows Guinness as best positioned to win in the Beer & Cider category this Christmas season, with Bacardi and Freixenet topping the Spirits & Liqueurs  and Wine & Champagne categories respectively. The analysis is based on the online store presence and performance of the brands during the last week of November 2014.

Clavis Insight analysed the online store representation of more than 100 of the leading UK alcohol brands in three alcohol categories across four UK online retailers –,, and

The analysis was based on key performance indicators (KPIs) critical to driving online purchasing. The KPIs include product availability, image presence, content integrity and overall search rank. These metrics form the basis of the Clavis Insight Index (CI²), a proprietary benchmark of online retail store presence and performance for brands.

The leading brands in all three categories had consistently strong performance on search and content integrity.

In the beer & cider category, Guinness, despite being number 12 in the UK for off-trade sales, came out on top of the Index with the best online store presence across the four retailers.

While Bacardi topped the CI2 ranking in the spirits & liqueurs category, a significant number of premium and niche brands, including single malt whiskies such as Glenmorangie and Glenfiddich, are doing well in terms of online presence this year.

Freixenet comes out on top of the wine & Champagne CI2 rank, built on a solid foundation of strong and engaging product content across all stores. This brand may not be driving as large volumes through stores as the market leader Hardy’s, but it is optimising it online performance.

“Traditionally, big brands have dominated off-line markets because of their ability to leverage scale, and their established relationships with the big retailers. Online the story is different. Succeeding in the digital channel is more about making sure your products are set up correctly in the online store and optimising attributes such as content, image, availability and search rank,” said Supriya Chaudhury, CMO, Clavis Insight. “The Clavis Insight Index is designed to determine which brands are best placed to take advantage of the online opportunity.”

To produce the Clavis Insight Index, product level performance is calculated against the most critical KPIs – availability, content integrity, image presence and search rank – and aggregated by brand. Results are benchmarked against the average score for the category to produce the Clavis Insight Index score. Brands indexing greater than 100 outperform the category average, while those that score less than 100 underperform relative to category.

Established brands top of CI2 in beer & cider.

While Guinness topped the CIranking in the beer & cider category, other leading off-trade brands such as Bud Light, Carlsberg and Fosters also did well.

At the same time the presence of Budvar, Bavaria and Koppaberg shows that smaller brands are punching above their weight to put themselves in a strong position online.

Looking to the extended ranking craft, specialist and world beer offerings clustered toward the bottom of the overall CI2. Online presents a huge opportunity for the niche brands to maximise content and win online.

Top 5 Beer & Cider Brands


Brand CI2 Score CI2 Rank
Guinness 120 1
Bud Light 119 2
Carlsberg 119 3
Fosters 118 4
Becks 103 5

Figure 1: Clavis Insight Index (CI2) for online store presence and performance, UK Beer & Cider Category

Niche brands rare well In CI2 spirits & liqueurs category.

In addition to Bacardi, Glenmorangie and Glenfiddich, niche brands did well in the index. Bombay Sapphire is the #1 Gin (#4 overall) for example. The UK’s number one selling spirit, Smirnoff vodka, doesn’t appear in the CI2 top 20, while Vladivar is the top ranked Vodka brand at #12 in the index, with Absolut #19.

Top 5 Spirits & Liqueurs
Brand CI2 Score CI2 Rank
Bacardi 124 1
Glenmorangie 118 2
Glenfiddich 116 3
Bombay Sapphire 115 4
Famous Grouse 115 5

Figure 2: Clavis Insight Index (CI2) for online store presence and performance, Spirits & Liqueurs category.

Diversity of brands in wine CI2 ranking reflective of fragmented category

With thousands of labels, the wine category is extremely fragmented. Despite this, Blossom Hill and Echo Falls, numbers two and three in terms of off-trade sales ranking in the UK (according to The Grocer), also ranked numbers two and three in the Clavis Insight Index for the category, following Freixenet.

The brands that do well in the Index are taking advantage of the online channel to drive presence and performance, leveraging the opportunity online to position their brands ahead of category leaders.

Top 5 Wine & Champagne


Brand CI2 Score CI2 Rank
Freixenet 124 1
Blossom Hill 124 2
Echo Falls 122 3
Black Tower 121 4
Oyster Bay 115 5

Figure 3: Clavis Insight Index (CI2) for online store presence and performance, Wine & Champaign category.