IWSR: WORLD ALCOHOL MARKET FARED BETTER THAN EXPECTED THANKS TO RESILIENCE IN CHINA & USA
By Susan Lewis
Credit: Christine Jou/Unsplash
Total global alcoholic drinks consumption will shrink by about 8% this year, much smaller than originally predicted thanks to resilience in the China and USA markets, said latest forecasts by drinks business think tank IWSR.
IWSR arrived at the latest forecasts after conducting an assessment of alcohol consumption in 19 key global markets as well as performance in travel retail.
The assessment found that total volume consumption of international spirits (which excludes national spirits such as baijiu and shochu), is projected to be down by 7.2% in 2020, but a full recovery is expected by 2022.
Meanwhile, total wine and beer consumption are both forecast down about 9% in 2020 and are each unlikely to regain volumes for several years.
These forecasts are much better than the double-digit declines originally predicted, IWSR said China and USA are the key drivers of this better than expected performance.
The two markets combined to account for one third of global volume consumption and over 40% of global value.
IWSR said the Chinese market has performed better than initially forecast at the start of the pandemic, as Chinese consumers – including 400 million millennials in the country – have returned to almost all everyday activities.
The company predicted that China’s spirits market (excluding baijiu) will see full recovery by 2021.
IWSR said USA’s alcoholic drinks consumption will grow by 2% this year, thanks to gains in e-commerce and off-trade compensating for heavy losses in more lucrative on-trade channels.
Brazil and Japan have also proved remarkably resilient through 2020, and are expected to recover to pre-pandemic volume consumption levels in 2021.
On the other hand, markets such as India and South Africa, which experienced partial or full bans on alcohol sales during the pandemic, and Mexico, which saw beer banned for some time, will experience some of the largest volume losses this year.
“Given the incredibly tough measures the industry has continued to face due to COVID-19, it’s encouraging to see that beverage alcohol in the 19 focus countries is only projected to decline by 8% in 2020, rather than by the double-digit losses originally expected,” said Mark Meek, IWSR chief executive.
“Excluding national spirits such as baijiu and shochu, total beverage alcohol in the 19 focus countries will recover to 2019 levels by 2024. We may see that recover even faster now, given the recent news on encouraging vaccine trials,” he added.
The key markets reviewed were Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, UK and USA. Along with travel retail, that covers 75% of the global drinks trade.
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