Spirits consumption increased notably in both off- and on-premise terms, driven by the huge incremental volume growth of bitters, which reached the highest historical consumption in 2021. Bitters, which hold the majority of spirits consumption in Argentina, with a mature consumption, showed upbeat growth in 2021.
English gin recorded the highest total volume sales growth in 2021, becoming fashionable and trendsetting among adults and taking volume from regular vodka, and benefiting from the easy preparation at home of the popular gin and tonic cocktail during COVID-19 lockdown. Growth was also driven by both multinational and local brands, with huge investment in terms of advertising and promotional activity and new product development.
Following the premiumisation and craft boom trend, new local distilleries entered the spirit industry with the launch of craft whiskies, such as La Alazana produced in Esquel in Patagonia, Barricada whisky launched by a famous bar in Federal City, and Casares single malt whisky. La Orden del Liberator, a premium locally produced whisky aged in malbec wine barrels, was also launched in recent years.
Spirits consumption is expected to keep growing with the leading role of bitters consumption; however it will face challenges in the 2022-2026 period due to the maturity of the category. Following robust growth of vodka and English gin, the latter is expected to increase its product innovation towards locally-produced craft variants.
E-commerce is expected to continue offering increasingly strong competition to the modern channel and spirits specialist retailers into the forecast period. Online sales penetration is still very low in Argentina; however, the impact of COVID-19 has accelerated the growth of sales via this channel as lockdown forced consumers to stay at home.
A gradual recovery of on-trade sales is expected over the forecast period as the outbreak of the third wave of COVID-19 at the end of 2021 will increase lockdowns and restrictions on events extending into the first half of 2022. As a result, on-premise volume consumption of spirits is projected to have a moderate rebound in 2022, and it is likely to be the beginning of 2024 before the industry rebounds from the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
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This is the aggregation of whisk(e)y, brandy and Cognac, white spirits, rum, tequila, liqueurs and other spirits.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Spirits research and analysis database.
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