Global alcohol consumption reverses decline in 2017

27 May, 2018 by Andy Young

Total global alcohol consumption grew slightly in 2017, increasing by 3.5m nine-litre cases versus 2016, according to data just released by the IWSR.

Though 2017’s growth is very modest at 0.01 per cent, it follows a decline of -1.25 per cent in 2016, which is a positive turnaround for the industry as a whole. Wine contributed to the largest gain in global volume, followed by cider. Spirits declined marginally as did beer and mixed drinks consumption.

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Speaking about the trends, The ISWR said: “After a static year in 2016, still wine staged a comeback in 2017, gaining 12m cases (+0.5 per cent). Italy, Russia and the US were the top growth markets for still wine, while the UK and France saw the largest declines.

‘These mature wine markets are losing out to generational shifts in drinks choices; cider and sparkling wine growth in the UK counteracted the decline of still wine, and in France beer consumption rose strongly.”

The report added: “The fastest-growing regions for spirits were Asia-Pacific and the Americas. The continued growth of baijiu in China is the main contributor to the Asia-Pacific volumes, but whisky also performed well in the region, adding 2.7m cases between 2016 and 2017 (+1.2 per cent).

“Similarly, whisky grew by 2.7m cases in the Americas (+3.2 per cent), and vodka adding 1.7m cases (+1.8 per cent). Agave-based spirits were the best-performing category in the region by percentage growth, growing 5.3 per cent, adding 1.4m cases.

“The CIS was the only region to see a decline in spirits consumption, falling -7.6 per cent (25.2m cases), due to the decrease of vodka consumption in Russia and Ukraine. Government pressures and generational shifts contribute to these ongoing declines.”

In percentage terms, agave-based spirits were the fastest-growing category globally (+5.2 per cent), followed by gin and genever (+4.5 per cent) and whisky (+2 per cent). Beer returned to growth in the Americas, led by Mexico and Argentina, despite continued declines in the US. Positive results in the Americas along with strong growth in Africa, the Middle East and Europe helped to slow the global decline of beer consumption. T

hough cider growth in Europe has slowed, momentum in Africa and the Middle East helped spur a 2.5 per cent global volume increase. The mixed drinks market declined by minus one per cent, led by a slowdown in Asia-Pacific and further category negative trends in the CIS and the Americas.