Domestic consumption has helped all luxury alcoholic drinks record value sales growth. Sales were assisted by the domestic economy, which started to recover in 2016 and fared even better in 2017.
Alcoholic drinks distribution remained concentrated in 2017. Whilst off-trade volume sales increased, on-trade sales continued to fall slightly to account for just a quarter of overall volume sales due to a structural drop in the patronage of bars and restaurants.
Total sales of luxury alcoholic drinks are predicted to increase more in value than in volume terms. Whilst the French have their preferences, they also like to discover more sophisticated and more premium products, thereby consuming less but better.
Pernod (Groupe Pernod Ricard) leads sales of fine wines/champagne and spirits, ahead of Vranken-Pommery and LVMH. Thanks to having one of the most complete product portfolios in the industry, Pernod Ricard has become a key player in France’s alcoholic drinks landscape.
The competitive landscape is dominated by large players operating at the international level. The alcoholic drinks industry is no stranger to consolidation, as merger and acquisition activity remained robust in 2017.
In 2018, whilst volume sales growth stagnated in champagne, was negative for fine wines and was moderate for luxury brandy/cognac and whiskies, other spirits have left a serious footprint on the industry with remarkable success both in volume and value terms. Brands are adapting to consumers’ changing tastes as innovation drives sales growth.
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