This is a Fouroom template. Explore more under

What are the biggest global trends in alcoholic beverages over the last 12 months?

June 10, 2022

Want to know what is actually trending in the world of global alcohol sales? Here's an answer.

The giant IWSR report on beverage trends has dropped, and (as usual) it provides plenty of insight. Drawing on industry information from 160 countries, it spells out what's hot or not in what is now a US$1.17 trillion industry. 

Let's run through some of the takes from the report.

  • Global beverage sales are up 12% last year, making up for pandemic losses of -4%.
    You'd have to think that 2022 is going to be up again, given the loosening of restrictions outside of China.
  • Beer volumes are up, especially in the Asia-Pacific & Africa.
    Predicted to grow by $US20 billion over the next five years as well. In Australia, we're seeing lower volumes, but increased penetration of craft beer, as this Brewsnews article details.
  • Spirits volume is up 3% and value 15%.
    That value jump is very interesting (but not unexpected). Clearly more people are trading up to another quality tier of spirits - reflecting the premiumisation shift first pointed in this IWSR report.
  • Whisky is up a monster 23% in volume and 29% in value.
    With gin, cognac and rum not far behind. You can read about the latest in local whisky trends in Luke McCarthy's excellent Community article.
  • Agave-based spirits (tequila/mezcal) are about to overtake American whiskey in the US.
    This a monumental result. The category is forecast to grow at a whopping 88% in 2021-2025 as well. Interestingly, Jack Daniels is enjoying a resurgence in the US too, with 20% annual growth. We talked about the Australian tequila boom here.
  • Whereas wine is down by 2% in value, but up 5% in value.
    With sparkling wine (and particularly Champagne) leading the way for growth. Long term, the IWSR points to a decline in volume by 1% however. Ouch.
  • While RTDs are booming. 
    Up 14% in 2021, while also up 26% in 2020. This category is expected to grow by 44% in volume over the next five years. We discussed this earlier in the year.
  • Nolo is up by 10% too. 
    It's off a low base, but the non/low alcohol segment is growing too. Especially in the UK, where the volume of nolo spirits alone (likely Lyre's) increased by 80%. It's worth a dive into who is the no/lo consumer in this IWSR report too.

There are a few final quotes from the report worth including for some context to the global trends landscape, like this one from Mark Meek, ISWR CEO:

“Our latest data shows encouraging signs for the continued recovery of beverage alcohol... The market rebounded far more quickly than expected and, in value terms, 2021 is now above 2019. Premiumisation continues unabated; beverage alcohol ecommerce also continues to grow, although at a more moderate rate; and the trend towards moderation continues, with no/low-alcohol products seeing ongoing growth from a relatively low base. Despite the industry’s current and future challenges – ongoing supply-chain disruptions, inflation, war in Ukraine, travel retail’s slow return to pre-2019 levels, and China’s zero-Covid policy – beverage alcohol is in a strong position.”

Want to read more? Have a dig into the full report here.

(Photo is from Unsplash).