Up to 2019, whiskies enjoyed a decade of consecutive year-on-year growth, supported by the surging demand for highballs – a mix of whisky and carbonated water. Moreover, there was a worldwide boom in sales of Japanese whisky, which caused a supply shortage and forced manufacturers to limit shipment volumes in order to ensure a sufficient supply for future ageing.
In February 2021, the Japan Spirits & Liqueurs Makers Association announced standards for the labelling of Japanese whisky. Due to the lack of any standards, there had been cases of brands that used imported foreign whiskies which were then bottled in Japan being sold as “Japanese whisky”, or cases where brands that do not meet the qualification of “whisky” under the Japanese liquor tax law being sold as “Japanese whisky” in other countries.
English gin continued to record strong total volume growth in 2021. This growth was largely driven by Sui, the brand from Suntory launched in March 2020.
Due to the continuing struggles faced by consumer foodservice, spirits manufacturers are set to focus on the off-trade, especially in the early part of the forecast period. For instance, Suntory continues to focus on stimulating new demand by encouraging the enjoyment of premium whisky at home.
Before COVID-19, the foodservice experience was essential to spread new trends or new ways of drinking amongst consumers. With the prolonged impact of the pandemic, however, manufacturers are now required to start and grow trends from home consumption products.
Shochu is expected to struggle to achieve growth in the forecast period, as the category is failing to attract younger consumers of legal drinking age. This trend was accelerated by the struggles of consumer foodservice for the two years of the pandemic, as this channel previously offered trial opportunities for potential new consumers.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Spirits industry in Japan with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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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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