Executive Briefings

Last Call: Sales Volume of Alcoholic Drinks Declines Virtually Everywhere Except North America

Global alcoholic drinks volume registered a decline of 0.7 percent in 2015, entering negative territory for the first time in more than a decade, according to research from Euromonitor International. This translated into a loss of 1.7 billion litres of alcoholic drinks volume sales since 2014.

Historic growth narratives derailed due to the influence of macro headwinds hitting China, which recorded a 3.5 percent decline. Brazil and Eastern Europe showed further weaknesses, falling 2.5 and 4.9 percent, respectively. While Western Europe and Australasia flat lined, North America’s 2.3 percent growth provided a shot of optimism in an otherwise sobering global landscape where even the potential of Asia, Middle East and Africa was diluted by currency volatility and commodity price fluctuations.

Spiros Malandrakis, Senior Alcoholic Drinks Analyst, says: “While terms such as authenticity and craftsmanship are losing traction, the trajectories of sophistication, moderation, perceived exotic credentials, accessibility and restrained yet grounded aspirational attributes remain the key driving forces fueling pockets of buoyancy.” He continues: “Premium English gin, Irish and Japanese whiskey, dark and non-alcoholic beer are the flag bearers of growth and it is no coincidence that those also happen to be the segments gaining further momentum with the ever important millennial demographic in mature western markets.”

Beyond those star performers, tequila and bourbon remained solid, while cognac bounced back strongly. Cider performed well but has softened as Americans move to hard soda drinks. Rum and vodka find themselves amongst the worst performers, while still light white and red wine varietals join sparkling wines back to a healthy level.

“While initial forecasts suggest a gradual recovery from 2016, performance will remain substandard compared to historical trajectories. It is not the industry’s vision that is impaired but rather the horizon that can be treacherous,” Malandrakis concludes.

Source: Euromonitor International

Historic growth narratives derailed due to the influence of macro headwinds hitting China, which recorded a 3.5 percent decline. Brazil and Eastern Europe showed further weaknesses, falling 2.5 and 4.9 percent, respectively. While Western Europe and Australasia flat lined, North America’s 2.3 percent growth provided a shot of optimism in an otherwise sobering global landscape where even the potential of Asia, Middle East and Africa was diluted by currency volatility and commodity price fluctuations.

Spiros Malandrakis, Senior Alcoholic Drinks Analyst, says: “While terms such as authenticity and craftsmanship are losing traction, the trajectories of sophistication, moderation, perceived exotic credentials, accessibility and restrained yet grounded aspirational attributes remain the key driving forces fueling pockets of buoyancy.” He continues: “Premium English gin, Irish and Japanese whiskey, dark and non-alcoholic beer are the flag bearers of growth and it is no coincidence that those also happen to be the segments gaining further momentum with the ever important millennial demographic in mature western markets.”

Beyond those star performers, tequila and bourbon remained solid, while cognac bounced back strongly. Cider performed well but has softened as Americans move to hard soda drinks. Rum and vodka find themselves amongst the worst performers, while still light white and red wine varietals join sparkling wines back to a healthy level.

“While initial forecasts suggest a gradual recovery from 2016, performance will remain substandard compared to historical trajectories. It is not the industry’s vision that is impaired but rather the horizon that can be treacherous,” Malandrakis concludes.

Source: Euromonitor International