The spirits brands to watch in 2017

3rd January, 2017 by admin

Despite a turbulent year filled with economic uncertainty and political change, the international spirits community remains unexpectedly upbeat. The Spirits Business selects which brands are ones to watch in 2017.

We select which brands and trends are ones to watch in the spirits industry this year

We select which brands and trends are ones to watch in the spirits industry this year

Cast your mind back 12 months. Afflicted by economic and emotional malaise, the international spirits industry was disoriented in direction and hamstrung by pessimism. While some shoots of growth had started to appear, the effects of tension between Russia and the West over Ukraine and emerging market economic instability were hobbling the sector – and it seemed few brands knew how to respond.

What a difference a year makes. While these issues haven’t gone away – they are likely to affect the global spirits sector for many years to come – collectively the full spectrum of stakeholders has
adapted to this strange new normal with relative aplomb.

China, which had been at the epicentre of the Asian Cognac crash triggered by the government’s crackdown on opulent gifting, is showing recovery, and not just for the one category. Even those with little history in the market are gaining traction in the major hubs – just look to Tequila and gin.

In fact, in terms of global forecasts for the full 2016 year, only vodka is posting volume declines. Yet even there the situation remains heartening: despite the losses, value sales are marginally up, pointing to a move of premiumisation that is so critical for the category’s survival.

But now is not the time for complacency, as uncertainty looks set to be an umbrella motif for the year ahead. Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the US is already impacting the Tequila market – Jose Cuervo announced it is to delay a planned initial public offering expected to raise around US$1 billion, at least until the new year. And in the UK, the equally out-of-the- blue Brexit vote suggests Scotch’s trade deals and even GIs may need renegotiation.

But if 2016 taught us anything, prospering means tuning into the markets and understanding consumers is the way to prevail.

Click on the links below to see our analysis of each spirit category’s performance in 2016, as well as the brands we predict will be big in the year ahead.

The vodka brands to watch in 2017

The Scotch whisky brands to watch in 2017

The world whisky brands to watch in 2017

The Cognac & brandy brands to watch in 2017

The gin brands to watch in 2017

The rum brands to watch in 2017

The Tequila brands to watch in 2017

The liqueur and speciality brands to watch in 2017

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