The liqueurs category is set for "slow, steady growth" in the coming years, according to new research from just-drinks and The IWSR.
The sector is expected to add almost 2.5m cases between 2013 and 2019, says the 'Global Liqueurs Insights' report, which is published this week. The increase reflects a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.55%.
While the forecast appears far from sensational, it represents a recovery for the sector, which not only saw a decrease of 0.9% in 2013 from 2012 to 83.65m 9-litre cases, but also registered only a 0.2% CAGR for the entire five-year period between 2009 and 2013. On a market-by-market basis, however, the news remains mixed.
The world's largest liqueurs market, the US, is expected to see growth stall in 2016 and then decline during the forecast period, ending in 2019 with volumes of around 20.96m cases, below the 21.21m cases registered in 2013. The report identifies the impact of flavoured whiskies and other rival categories as the key reasons for the expected decline.
The report also forecasts slow declines or a static performance from other mature markets, such as Germany, Japan, France, Italy, Canada, the Netherlands and the UK. However, the outlook is rosier elsewhere, notably in Spain, Russia, Poland, Chile, South Africa, Mexico and in Global Travel Retail.
The report also points to "promising trends in a number of small but potentially interesting markets", the most notable of which is Turkey where volumes are forecast to more than double over the five-year period, reaching almost 800,000 cases by 2019.
While nine of the world's top 20 markets for liqueurs recorded growth between 2009 and 2013, only two of the top five markets – the US and Russia – managed an improvement.
"Macroeconomic conditions have played a key role in this relative reversal of fortunes since 2009," the report states. "Sales are still largely concentrated in the category's traditional markets of Western Europe and North America, the two regions hardest-hit by the economic downturn."
The shift in spirits consumption from on- to off-premise has also affected liqueurs more than other categories, given its bias towards the on-premise in most markets, the report adds.