Alcoholic Drinks Global Industry Overview

June 2021

In 2020, the global alcoholic drinks market faced a genuinely unprecedented collapse that proved to be far worse than the depths of the 2008 Great Recession while overshadowing every other major regional, macro or black swan event-driven crisis in the past couple of decades. What are the key developments, learnings and nascent trends following such a seismic paradigm shift?

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Examining five trends shaping alcoholic drinks

On-trade: Winter has come and the (party) light is at the end of the tunnel

While the collapse of the on-trade will leave some scarring with many outlets not surviving the consecutive waves of disruption, the potential for a pendulum swing towards re-embracing hedonism, socialising and high-energy occasions is very likely as the first signs of a roaring return to hospitality are already present.

Non alc democratisation and the limitations of abstinence

Mindful drinking, sober curiosity and moderation coming of age coincided with the spike in interest in physical and mental health that has, in turn, accelerated further during the pandemic. The segment will evolve into the realms of functionality while providing differentiated offerings but a counter-trend focusing on indulgence and hedonism could well moderate its historic momentum.

A tale of two industries

The depth, intensity, and impact of the pandemic was not uniform, and recovery will be equally uneven and dependent on vaccination roll-outs, efficacy and uptakes as much as on the robustness and sustainability of government support schemes.

Post-pandemic ripple effects: the dawn of a polarised world

While the premiumisation narrative proved to be far more resilient than initially expected over the course of the pandemic, that was largely down to the fact that generous government support schemes and limited alternative discretionary expenses supported it. As the macroeconomic ripple effects hit after the health emergency has passed, polarisation will gain traction instead.

of age  E-commerce is coming

Belatedly, and following years of complacency and legislation-induced hesitancy, the alcohol industry is embracing digitalisation and online sales. This will become a major pillar for sales, branding and the consumer journey that will only accelerate

Introduction

Scope
Coronavirus (COVID-19) impact on alcoholic drinks

The Impact Of COVID-19

Taking stock of the tectonic shifts
Off-trade boom provides for a bullish trajectory and a silver lining
Beyond pandemic shifts: The global state of play
Deciphering drivers behind regional performance
Finding pockets of resistance amidst the gloom
Great expectations: Post-pandemic momentum and an intoxicating future
Distribution: The year drinking went digital
COVID-19 merely accelerated pre-existing mindful drinking habits

Leading Companies and Brands

Nostalgia, comfort and accessibility: Leading players’ pandemic bounce
Key pandemic survivors and casualties
AB InBev's broad brand portfolio brings vital flexibility
Hard seltzers against hard times

Top Five Trends Shaping the Industry

COVID THEMES
Examining five trends shaping alcoholic drinks
On-trade: Winter has come and the (party) light is at the end of the tunnel
Non alc democratisation and the limitations of abstinence
A tale of two industries: Facing the same storm but not all in the same boat
Post-pandemic ripple effects: The dawn of a polarised world
E-commerce is coming of age: From great disruptor to silver lining

Global Outlook

Revisiting original forecasts and getting it right from the beginning
Scenarios for a post-COVID-19 world: On-trade bounce vs off-trade moderation
Champagne: Collapse, recovery and an ace up its sleeve

Market Snapshots

Global snapshot of Beer
Global snapshot of Wine
Global snapshot of Spirits
Global snapshot of RTDs
Global snapshot of Cider
Regional snapshot: Asia Pacific
Regional snapshot: North America
Regional snapshot: Latin America
Regional snapshot: Western Europe
Regional snapshot: Middle East and Africa
Regional snapshot: Eastern Europe
Regional snapshot: Australasia
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