COVID-19 encouraged consumers to shift their off-trade alcohol purchases in 2020 from large grocery stores to specialist alcohol retailers, which were perceived to be safer shopping destinations during the pandemic. Although there was no government-mandated lockdown in place in Belarus in 2020, many health-cautious consumers limited their visits to on-trade establishments, resulting in a significant volume sales decline of up to 100% in the spring of 2020.
The significant local currency depreciation boosted unit prices in 2020. Higher growth was recorded in premium spirits, where the share of import is high.
Vodka remains by far the most important category of spirits in Belarus, with the category accounting for the majority of total spirits volume sales in 2020. Competition in vodka remains quite saturated, with mainly local players present.
The return to drinking out in bars and pubs once the COVID-19 situation begins to ease and the fear of COVID-19 contagion amongst the population fades, will stimulate the recovery of spirits consumption in Belarus. Off-trade, the obligatory mask-wearing in public places will encourage the return of consumers to large grocery stores and therefore spirits volume sales should increase through these channels.
The state will continue to regulate the import of spirits over the forecast period. In 2021, the state significantly reduced import quotas.
Spirits is a category that is subject to frequent new product developments. With such a high amount of new product development in the category, it is becoming increasingly important for companies to market and advertise their brands, although it should be noted that the advertising of alcoholic drinks is highly regulated in Belarus.
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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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