Vodka is expected to return to volume growth globally

Vodka is expected to return to volume growth globally

The vodka category is expected to return to global volume growth by 2016 and retain its spot as the world's second most popular spirit, according to a study.

The survey by the organisers of wine exhibition Vinexpo, presented in London today (5 February), shows that vodka consumption between 2007 and 2011 fell by 4.9% to 491.7m nine-litre cases. However, consumption is forecast too edge up by 1.6%, based on predictions for the 2012 to 2016 period.

The consumption of Cognac and Armagnac is expected to lead the way in rising spirits volumes over the next few years, after a "stable" period. Global volumes are predicted to rise by 12.2% between 2012 and 2016, the study said. 

Scotch whisky is expected to see a healthy acceleration in volumes. Consumption is expected to rise by 12% to 100m nine-litre cases between 2012 and 2016. Between 2007 and 2011 volumes rose by just 2% to 87m nine-litres cases.  

Regionally, Asia-Pacific accounts for 61% of spirits consumption, after seeing a 75% jump between 2007 and 2011, the survey revealed. However, this is expected to slow by 2016 to 14%.

Chinese white spirit baijiu is the world's most consumed spirit and accounts for one third of all drinks sold in the category, the study found. 

For the spirits category as a whole, consumption rose by 33% between 2007 and 2011. However, this is expected to slow, rising by 9% between 2012 and 2016. Value sales between 2007 and 2011 rose by 33% globally.

Vinexpo also offered a series of predictions on the wine market, suggesting production in China will overtake Australia by 2016.