Consumers around the world are easing up on the booze, according to recent research from Euromonitor International. Global alcoholic drink volumes declined 0.7 percent in 2015, registering the first negative growth rate for the first time in more than a decade.
Eastern Europe experienced the largest volume decline at 4.9 percent, followed by China (3.5 percent) and Brazil (2.5 percent). Volumes in Western Europe and Australasia remained flat, however, North America’s 2.3 percent growth provided a shot of optimism in an otherwise sobering global landscape.
“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.” Says Spiros Malandrakis, senior alcoholic drinks analyst for Euromonitor. “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 were amongst the worst performers, while still light white and red wine varietals join sparkling wines back to a healthy level.