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Worldwide spirits sales up 9% in 2021

The global spirits market grew to a value of €464 billion (US$490.3bn) in 2021 but was unable to return to pre-pandemic levels, new data has revealed.

Earth day World spirits Alliance
Total spirits sales rose by 9% in 2021, according to WSA data

The data was shared in the first Global Economic Footprint Brochure from the World Spirits Alliance (WSA), called: Global Sector – Local impact. The economic contribution of distilling & spirits production.

According to the report, the total spirits market grew by 9% in value terms in 2021. However, this was not enough to offset the 13.1% drop in sales experienced in 2020.

Nevertheless, recovery looks set to continue and global sales are projected to increase by 30.7% until 2025. This will be aided by a trend noted in the brochure: premiumisation.

Jun Tanaka, of the Japan Spirits and Liqueurs Makers Association, said: “Growth in the spirits sector will be strongly driven by premiumisation.

“Whereas quantities of alcohol sold are predicted to stabilise or decrease in the years to come in many markets, growth will be driven by value and revenue increases. In other words, people will drink better, not more.”

The brochure was launched at the WSA’s annual meeting in Geneva. It aims to offer a succinct overview of the spirits sector globally, recent market trends and developments, and case examples of initiatives by distillers across the world in the areas of sustainability and innovation.

Luis Fernando Félix Fernández, president of the WSA, added: “Diversity is deeply rooted in the spirits sector. Each region has its know-how, tied to its history and linked to geographical resources and cultural traditions.

“These specific traditions, knowledge and secret recipes crossed borders and centuries to become an inherent part of cultures and societies.”

Exports of European spirits tumbled by 19% in 2020, as a result of tariffs and Covid-19 restrictions.

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