Consumption of domestic UK spirits declines

10th February, 2016 by Amy Hopkins

UK drinkers are switching from local to international spirits brands as new data shows consumption of domestic products has declined as consumption of imported brands grows.


Consumption of imported brands grew as domestic brands declined in the UK last year

According to data from international trade show Vinexpo and the IWSR, consumption of imported spirits between 2010 and 2014 grew by 9.5%, from 12.7m cases to 13.9m cases.

At the same time, consumption of domestic spirits decreased by 5.6% to 17.5m cases.

Between 2015 and 2019, Vinexpo and the IWSR expect spirits imported to the UK to climb 9.3%, while domestically produced spirits are forecast to increase at a much more subdued rate of 0.5%.

In terms of categories, vodka is the most popular spirit among UK consumers with a market share of 30% in 2015 – the equivalent of 9.6m cases. Whisky is the second most popular spirit category in the UK with consumption of 7.9m cases.

Vinexpo and the IWSR predict that gin and rum will be the fastest growing spirits categories between 2010 and 2019, increasing 25.9% (to 3.4m cases) and 23.7% (to 3.3m cases) respectively.

Internationally, spirits volumes fell flat at 3.07bn cases in 2015, however the market is predicted to grow by 2.8% until the end of 2019.

In particular, Vinexpo and IWSR note that global vodka consumption has been declining every year since 2010, a trend the companies believe will continue. Entry level vodkas, especially in the Ukranian and Polish markets, are falling the fastest, while premium variants “remain fashionable” in some markets.

Despite struggles across Asia, Cognac recovered sales in 2014, rising 0.7% to 12.7m cases due to the “resurgent US market”.

Overall, rum’s volume sales fell 2.7% in 2014, despite the fact that the premium and super-premium categories topped 6.5m cases for the first time. Vinexpo and IWSR claim premiumisation remains a “tangible trend” for rum in western markets such as the US, Germany, France and Spain.

This data has been collected as part of IWSR’s market study commissioned by Vinexpo, containing an in-depth analysis of global consumption, production and international trade in the wine and spirits sectors.

Vinexpo Hong Kong will take place on 24-26 May 2016 and Vinexpo Tokyo will be held on 15-16 November 2016.

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