Global market review of speciality spirits – forecasts to 2013

Global market review of speciality spirits – forecasts to 2013

Published: May 2009
Publisher: just-drinks.com / IWSR
Product ref: 79263
Pages: 122
Format: PDF
Delivery: Immediate download

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While the broad perception today is that the global spirits market is rapidly approaching hegemony under the leadership of a number of multinational companies, the reality is somewhat different. It may surprise, but the top ten multinationals in volume terms only have around a 15% market share of the global spirits industry.

National and local producers continue to meet most of the demand, particularly in large Asian and Eastern European markets. Many of the leading spirits products fall outside of the mainstream categories that Western producers specialise in.

This report reviews all of the non-mainstream, but major speciality spirits categories, covering the key brands and products in: Aniseed-, Cane-, Grape-, Fruit-, Coconut-, Juniper-, Root-, Rice-, Potato- or corn- and Cactus/agave-based spirits.
The report provides extensive market data from The IWSR and its aim is to examine each of these speciality categories and consider their potential for premium and international development.

This report is the first publication to compile all of these categories into one study - offering the reader an essential reference point, analysing and reviewing the markets for all key speciality spirits categories.

Chapter 1 Market overview

Multinationals naturally focus on the major drinks categories, as these provide the greatest volumes and the highest profits. But they are not always the fastest-growth or most dynamic categories. Between 2003 and 2007 some of the largest-growing categories were what might be termed non-mainstream. After vodka, shochu/soju was the second-largest growing category, rising by 27m cases, while Indian whisky was the third, rising by 22.4m cases.

Tequila’s transition from being principally a national category into one of the hottest international categories shows what is possible. Volume sales of cachaça may not be high enough to register on the strategic radars of most multinationals in Europe, but the current situation is similar to that of Tequila in the mid- to late ’80s.

Rum is another category that has made a similar transition from local/regional commodity product into one of the hottest international categories; it is another good example of a category that is rapidly premiumising. There will be other categories that will follow this path. The more forward-thinking multinationals are now looking for the next hot category.

Some of these specialty categories are displaying strong growth, albeit often from low bases. The top 15 growth categories in Europe between 2003 and 2007 include: dry arrack (ranked 1st), cachaça (2nd), absinthe (4th), sambuca (8th), grappa (10th), sweet aniseed (11th) and mezcal (12th). Two other categories, Tequila and Irish whiskey, that until recently would have been considered specialty, are also on list.

This opening chapter presents an overview of the argument for unlocked potential in the vast specialty spirits sector.

One of the factors driving the international growth of some of these niche categories is the development and global spread of a cocktail culture. Bartenders and consumers alike are on the lookout for more esoteric spirits as ingredients in these cocktails. Leblon Cachaça CEO Steve Luttmann explains: “The new generation is approaching cocktails in the same way they look at the appetiser menu, seeking to explore and discover new things. Then, they use their ‘cocktail of choice’ as a personal statement of who they are.”

Lucas Bols CEO Huub van Doorne says: “You see classic cocktails coming back more. Old drinks that we used to drink 30 or 50 years ago are coming back – drinks like Regina Collins, which was originally made with genever. Consumers and bartenders want to experience old drinking styles. I expect that you will see more of those in the future.”

Chapter's 2 through to 11 analyse each major speciality spirits category (in this order):

  • Aniseed-based spirits (Absinthe, Sambuca, Arak (raki), Turkish raki, Ouzo (including tsipouro/mastika), Anis Dulce, Pastis)
  • Cane-based spirits (Cachaça, Aguardiente/Cana)
  • Grape-based spirits (Grappa, Pisco/singani, Orujo, Vinjak)
  • Fruit-based spirits (Limoncello, Cassis, Pálinka/palinca, Kirsch eau-de-vie, fruit brandies)
  • Coconut-based spirits (Arrack)
  • Juniper-based spirits (Genever)
  • Root-based spirits (Bitters)
  • Rice-based spirits (Sake, Soju, Shochu, Chinese spirits)
  • Potato- or corn-based spirits (Aquavit, Korn)
  • Cactus/agave-based spirits (Mezcal)

All key brands within each category (and its individual drinks) are profiled and each category is reviewed with key volume data and analysis of where we feel the category is heading.

Interviews with some of the leading brands are provided throughout the report.

Read more about this report with just-drinks' research article here

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