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Global Spirits Industry


The global spirits industry was worth almost $263 billion in 2010, having recorded yearly growth of over 2.5% between 2006 and 2010, reports MarketLine. Whisky represents the leading market segment, generating almost $70 billion in sales in 2010 and accounting for almost 27% of the overall market in terms of value. Market growth is expected to accelerate to exceed a yearly growth rate of 3% between 2010 and 2015 to hit $306 billion.


The global spirits industry refers to the manufacturing of spirits, with companies involved in distilling and blending liquors, blending and mixing liquors with other ingredients, and distilling potable liquors. Spirits manufacturers use ingredients such as grains to distill into alcoholic spirit beverages, which they then package and sell to various types of outfits like restaurants, clubs, bars, retail stores, liquor wholesalers, hotels and casinos.



Key Segments


  • The world gin market reached a volume of almost 47 million cases in 2010, reports Just Drinks, with the industry expanding by 2% that year. The US leads the market with near 38% market share. Spain is the second biggest player in the global gin market with almost 12% market share, followed by the UK with just over 9% of the overall market. These three established markets are witnessing a change in that long-standing standard gins are nearing market saturation, leaving room for newer super-premium gins.


  • The vodka industry recorded strong global growth prior to the economic recession, which negatively impacted the market. Strong growth between 2004 and 2008 saw the market grow in volume by 30 million cases in four years, according to Just Drinks. Though vodka sales plummeted in 2009, the market recovered in 2010, with a particularly strong rebound in Russia.


  • Russia’s super-premium vodka market segment stands at around 250,000 cases. The US leads the premium white spirits market, with many craft distillers entering the market. These are typically small-sized producers. Brazil’s vodka market has witnessed a degree of substitution from cachaça into vodka, with cachaça producers also beginning to produce vodka. Over recent years, India’s vodka market has seen some large rum and whisky producers, including UB Group, lend increasing importance to vodka production.



Regional Market Share


  • The NAFTA nations’ spirit market exceeded $57 billion in 2010, reports MarketLine. Mexico recorded the fastest growth at a yearly rate of 5% between 2006 and 2010. In terms of value, the US leads the NAFTA countries, generating more than $47 billion in 2010, and it is expected to remain in the top position to reach almost $55.5 billion by 2015.


  • The five leading emerging nations (Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa) generated almost $51 billion through spirit sales in 2010, reports MarketLine. The industry recorded yearly growth of 9% from 2006 to 2010 within these five countries. The market is expected to record yearly growth of over 7% between 2010 and 2015 to exceed $72.5 billion in 2015.


  • India leads the emerging markets, having generated over $19 billion in 2010. It is expected to remain the number one country in terms of the spirits market, generating almost $34 billion by 2015. Whisky represents the leading segment in India’s alcoholic beverage market, but white spirits have been recording the fastest rate of growth, reports Netscribes. Market expansion in India is largely due to cultural trends, with a growing number of consumers frequenting lounges and bars. The country’s younger population is also stimulating market growth, opting for lighter spirits such as vodka, gin and rum.



Market Outlook


Due to the economic recession, the global spirits market has witnessed some changes over recent years. For example, off-premise consumption rose as on-premise consumption fell during the recession, with consumers favoring this cheaper drinking option, reports Koncept Analytics.


Global growth moving forward will be fuelled by demand from emerging nations such as Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC). In addition, rising levels of disposable income are driving global consumption of spirits. Consumer trends towards premium products are also boosting the market in terms of value, with consumers ready to pay more for higher quality brands.



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