Total volume sales of alcoholic drinks grew at a slightly slower pace than in the previous years, with spirits and wine showing negative growth rates in 2018. One reason is that the Spanish economy lost some steam in 2018, after its good performance in the post-crisis years, with real GDP growth of 2.
Premiumisation was the key trend present across all categories in 2018, with consumers looking to lower their alcohol consumption and to opt for superior-quality products with higher unit prices. Leading healthier lifestyles had a backlash on sales with Spaniards limiting their alcohol intake, enabling them to select more premium drinks.
In a very competitive environment, the most successful companies were the ones focusing their marketing efforts on the premiumisation of brands: investing in new product developments, new packaging and in widening their consumer base. Within the top companies in the beer category, the ones showing the largest increases in volume sales in 2018 were Grupo Cervezas Alhambra, Hijos de Rivera and GModelo Europa.
On-trade is the major channel for alcoholic drinks sales thanks to the Spanish habit of preferring to drink with family and friends at bars and restaurants and thanks to a good economic performance, whereas supermarkets and hypermarkets showed the highest volume sales within the off-trade channels. Catering is becoming an important channel, especially for wine, which is consumed mostly at events and parties.
The premiumisation trend is expected to take its toll on spirits and wine in terms of volume sales but as unit prices grow, total value sales are likely to continue growing. Moreover, the slower economic growth is also expected to have an impact on the purchase of these two more expensive alcoholic drink categories over the forecast period.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Alcoholic Drinks market research database.