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Whisky volumes to overtake vodka by 2020

Global spirits consumption is set to surpass 3.2 billion cases by 2020, with whisky volumes predicted to overtake vodka, new data has revealed.

Global consumption of whisky is expected to overtake that of vodka over the next five years

The IWSR Forecast 2015-2020 Global Review forecasts that the international spirits market will grow by almost 122m nine-litre cases between 2014 and 2020.

While the IWSR notes this marks a “steady rise” in volume, the category’s CAGR between 2014 and 2020 of +0.6% will be “noticeably slower” than the previous five-year CAGR of +3.6%.

“Growth is expected to be more conservative than previously as many markets experienced strong recovery of volumes in the aftermath of the global recession,” the research body said.

Population growth and rising disposable income in the emerging markets will push growth in the emerging markets, but mature markets such as the UK and US also possess “attractive opportunities” in terms of both volume and value development.

The “lion’s share of growth” is expected to stem from China and India, which are predicted to “outperform” all other markets. However, growth in North America, Africa and the Middle East, and the duty free markets will “contribute to the category’s overall expansion”.

Total annual consumption of whisky will rise to 467.4m cases, overtaking vodka to become the second-largest category behind national spirits, such as baijiu and soju, by 2020.

Whisky is joined by Tequila as the spirits forecast to grow at the fastest rate, with a CAGR of +3.8% and +2.9% respectively.

Gin and Tequila are expected to show the fastest rate of growth among imported spirits, which as a category is set to rise with a CAGR of +1.6%, adding 37.5m cases.

Earlier this year, the IWSR revealed that the global spirits sector fell flat in 2014 due to a weak performance by local spirits brands.

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