Other Spirits in Developing Markets: Crisis as an Opportunity

April 2022

Other Spirits is often an overlooked category by major players, but significant mainly in developing markets. Other Spirits sizes and number of consumers, position it as one of the most consumed Spirits worldwide. The performance and behaviour of the category during the two financial crises seen in the last 20 years show a resilient category and offer many important lessons to deepen the understanding on developing markets consumption of Spirits and tapping into the potential of Other Spirits.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key Findings

The biggest overlooked category

Other spirits is a category that corresponds to 44% of all spirits consumed worldwide, with a plethora of products (more than 80 different products) with their own particularities, be it in production or consumption.

Other spirits and crises

Other spirits, historically, has been a category resilient to financial crises, boasting stability during the 2008 subprime crisis and the 2015 Chinese stock market crash. This is due to other spirits’ pricing and appeal, as consumers choose what is known and become risk-averse.

Channel and pricing

Cachaça, soju and baijiu offer three distinct channel focuses: cachaça on the on-trade, baijiu on the off-trade and shoju balancing both, creating unique interactions and strategies for the products. Pricing is also another factor as these categories premiumise and increase their portfolio with more SKU counts.

Cachaça and diversification

Cachaça’s main strategy currently is diversification of its portfolio, be it with more premium options or added flavours, such as cachaça infused with honey, passion fruit or even coffee. This is also a reflection of a bigger trend and similar strategies can be found in vodka and gin in Brazil.

Shoju and flexibility

Shoju’s balance between on- and off-trade consumption gives it much-needed flexibility during crisis as companies can prioritise a certain channel, for example, off-trade during COVID-19 or lower pricings. This gives the Korean product opportunity to compensate eventual weaknesses it may face.

Premium baijiu and crisis recovery

Baijiu’s dynamism regarding its different price tiers illustrates how premium products can reap the benefits of a recovering economy, especially with a product that is associated with farmers gaining pre-eminence over the political elite.

Key findings
The biggest overlooked category
What are other spirits?
The great divide: Before and after COVID-19
The difference between crisis and a black swan event
Dependence of on-trade: The three models
Baijiu price tier: Recuperation after loss
Untapped potential and key lessons
Brazilian cachaça: Historic crisis and the cachaça category
Brazilian cachaça: The future of the category
Mixing cachaça: New ingredients and marketing for B
South Korea: Historic crisis and the soju category
South Korean soju : The pandemic and the future
Communicating outside of alcohol: Brand awareness and new marketing strategies
China: Historic crises and the baijiu category
Baijiu: The future of the category
Expansion in Western markets: Reversing the westernisation trend
Active players owning major brands in cachaça, baijiu and shoju
The other other spirits
Conclusions and recommendations

Alcoholic Drinks

Alcoholic drinks is the aggregation of beer, wine, spirits, cider/perry and RTDs.

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