During the recent political and economic crisis of 2014 and 2015 the local currency saw a dramatic devaluation dropping to almost a third of its value and therefore prices soared while consumer spending power was eroded. While the small share of affluent Ukrainians were not so vulnerable to the crisis, middle class Ukrainians were significantly impacted.
Consumption of fine wines/champagne and spirits fell dramatically in volume terms over 2014 and 2015, with the category only starting to recover from 2017. This recovery has continued in 2018 with another year of positive volume growth as the economic situation improves and consumer spending power rises.
In Ukraine, fine wine/champagne and spirits are widely popular as presents, both for personal occasions such as birthdays as well as for business purposes. Men typically prefer different types of spirits, while Ukrainian women typically favour fine wines and champagne.
In fine wines/champagne and spirits the strongest positions are occupied by internationally renowned brands such as Moët & Chandon, Martell, Hennessy and Rémy Martin to name a few. Such brands are associated with luxury alcoholic drinks which have been well-known for years due to their pioneering entry into the country and regular advertising support.
In view of the decline in consumer income levels in Ukraine, in particular after the political and economic crisis of 2014 and 2015, some people have started to pay more attention to cheaper offers within the brand assortments as well as becoming interested in brands offering more competitive pricing. For example, the Mumm Cordon brand saw strong growth in 2017 with it benefiting from offering a critically acclaimed yet affordable range of Champagne, in addition to its more expensive vintage range.
At the end of the review period counterfeit alcoholic drinks remained an important issue in Ukraine pertaining not only to mass products but also to luxury brands as well, with it impacting various different distribution channels. It is common for alcoholic drinks to be illegally imported to avoid paying tax but there are also many instances of individuals producing counterfeit alcoholic drinks by mixing up spirits with water (sometimes even with methyl spirits) and imitating bottles of well-known brands.
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