With the COVID-19 crisis continuing, ongoing restrictions on the operations of foodservice channels, widespread working from home and the fact that educational establishments remained closed for much of the year all served to dampen spirits sales in 2021. This significantly slowed down the recovery of spirits, as consumers staying at home tended to prefer lower alcohol beverages such as beer and wine.
The success of Smirnoff Tamarind vodka encouraged more companies and brands to strengthen their focus on flavours. As a result, in 2021, there was a significant increase in the offer of flavoured spirits, with examples including Tequila Don Ramón Tamarindo, Skyy Vodka Tamarindo, Rancho Escondido Tamarindo, and new launches from Bacardi that included flavoured versions (lemon, raspberry, coconut, mango and apple).
In 2021, Casa Cuervo remained the leader in spirits and regained some of the share that it had lost in the previous year. In addition to its important presence in tequila, the company produces and distributes spirits in most of the other categories.
Economic uncertainty and high rates of inflation are expected to affect consumers’ behaviour over the forecast period. Affordability will be a key factor in the context of consumers’ tighter budgets.
Over the forecast period, sales of spirits through the on-trade channel are expected to recover fully. As the threat from COVID-19 recedes, consumers are expected to go out to bars and restaurants more frequently.
Within retail, consumers are expected to return to more normal shopping habits, having shifted to one-stop shopping in modern grocery retailing stores in order to reduce the risk of exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus during the COVID-19 crisis. This will support demand through specialist retailers, including food/drink/tobacco specialists, which remained the largest distribution channel for spirits in 2021.
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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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