Spirits recorded a fairly resilient performance in 2021, with stable off-trade volume sales following robust growth in 2020. As on-trade sales remained heavily constrained by pandemic-related restrictions, including the closure of nightclubs and entertainment venues until summer 2021, before closing again in November as cases of COVID-19 increased dramatically, off-trade continued to benefit from a shift towards at-home consumption.
The emergence of non-alcoholic spirits as a significant segment in the category continued in 2021, as it continued to attract new young adult consumers, most of whom are not seeking to entirely renounce alcohol but appreciate premium non-alcoholic drinks with higher quality ingredients to prepare cocktails.
Pernod Ricard Deutschland overtook Campari Deutschland to regain its overall leadership of spirits in 2021, as a result of Campari’s divestment of several major brands. As William Grant & Sons created its own distribution subsidiary in Germany, William Grant & Sons Deutschland GmbH, effective from January 2021, it terminated Campari’s distribution agreement covering brands including Hendrick’s gin and Glenfiddich, Grant’s and Tullamore Dew whiskies.
The longer-term trend towards reduced alcohol consumption among young Germans, including millennials and Generation Z, who are also looking to cut their sugar intake due to greater health consciousness, is expected to continue impacting total volume growth of spirits, especially as these demographics are showing an increasing preference for RTDs. The shift towards moderation may continue to boost the demand for more premium spirits featuring higher quality ingredients, notably craft spirits focusing on local provenance.
The pandemic encouraged local consumers to be more adventurous in their spirits purchases and to seek new flavours, with an appetite for innovative flavours such as the Cinecane Popcorn rum by Hamburg start-up Tastillery. This trend, boosted by the share gain of e-commerce which enables consumers to discover and purchase niche products, is expected to gather momentum and will encourage manufacturers to be more innovative in offering new twists to traditional recipes.
The growing popularity of preparing cocktails at home and having a “ home bar” to maintain a selection of spirits predated the pandemic and is likely to remain prevalent in Germany. Therefore, off-trade sales of spirts will continue to dominate demand, despite predictions for a stronger growth performance by on-trade over the forecast period.
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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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