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American whiskey makes up 45% of US market

Spirits volume sales in the “strong” US market are slated to grow by 4.1% to 224 million nine litre cases by 2020, bolstered by American whiskey which holds 45% of the market.

Vinexpo’s CEO Guillaume Deglise

International trade show Vinexpo and the IWSR released top line growth forecasts to 2020 in a trade presentation yesterday (1 March), hosted by Vinexpo CEO Guillaume Deglise.

China is expected to remain the leading market for spirits due to demand for its national spirit, baijiu, adding that India is also “very strong” due to an uptick in local whisky. Global consumption of national spirits is set to grow 1.7% to reach 1,499m cases by 2020.

Brazil is forecast to drop 8.4% in volume to reach 91m cases, as it emerges from a protracted recession.

Regionally, the “most impressive” figure, he said, is Asia-Pacific, which grew by 5.50% between 2011 and 2015, and is estimated to grow by a further 51.7m cases by 2020.

The CIS region, however, is predicted to lose 22.17m cases by 2020 – a dip of 6.78% – attributed to a drop in vodka consumption within Russia and the Ukraine.

Africa and the Middle East is set to grow by 11.4% by 2020 – equivalent to an additional 7.12m cases – while the Americas is forecast to increase by 1.35%, adding 6.04m cases.

While vodka is the leading spirits category after national spirits – the most widely exported – the category likely to experience a 4.3% decline by 2020 due to the Russian market. Despite this, the category is “strong”, with premium vodka “growing in most markets”.

Deglise also highlighted the forecast for US whiskey, set to increase by 13.9% to hit 47m cases by 2020, adding that Scotch whisky “is really hot everywhere now”.

Tequila is expected to grow by 11.9%, and volume sales of Cognac and Armagnac also likely to increase by 10.8%, led by the US.

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.

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