Drinks consumers in Greece are continuing to demand premium products, according to recent research.

In a report looking into the Greek wine & spirits market in 2008, released this week, drinks industry analyst the IWSR has said that latest data shows a marked trading-up across the board in the country. Last year, premium products, classed as those retailing at over EUR20 (US$31), increased by 6.1% year-on-year to reach close to 500,000 cases - an all-time high. This is in stark contrast to the total market for wines & spirits, which recorded growth of just 0.2%.

Of particular interest at present are the super-premium Scotches, Scotch malts, premium vodkas (on a limited scale), gins and sparkling wine, as consumers treat themselves and want to display their ability to buy expensive brands. This trend is also reflected in a renewed interest in premium domestic spirits with continued strong growth in locally-made premium ouzo and tsipouro.

This is certainly not the full picture however. Last year also saw a marked slowdown in the total Greek drinks market, with standard Scotch recording its fourth year of decline, but at a faster rate than in previous years.

The IWSR report also shows that further overall losses are predicted for most categories in 2008.

On a positive note, the new report reveals a renewed interest in rum: it may well be that the Greek market is another Spain in the making.