Pernod Ricards Absolut struggled in travel retail

Pernod Ricard's Absolut struggled in travel retail

Global travel retail wine and spirits sales were hit hard by the economic downturn in 2009, dropping 9.3% to reach 22.7m nine-litre cases, according to figures released by International Wine & Spirit Research (IWSR).

Spirits volumes fell 10.6% in 2009 with rum proving the only major sub-category to show growth (+1.3%), overtaking Cognac to stand at 1.25m cases, IWSR said.

The wine category saw duty-free and travel retail sales decline by 6.3%.

Johnnie Walker remains the best-selling travel retail spirits brand, but volume sales dropped 7.7% last year.

Diageo’s overall share of the global duty-free and travel retail market remained stable at 18.1%, but second-placed Pernod Ricard saw its share fall from 17.6% in 2008 to 15.6% after a poor performance from Absolut vodka.

The Americas were the most severely affected travel retail spirits market in 2009 with sales slumping by 19%. In contrast, sales in Asia/Pacific fell by only 5.3%.

The full IWSR travel retail report will be published later this month.