Vodka remained by far the most popular spirit in Russia in 2020 and benefited from the COVID-19 pandemic in a number of ways. In fact, vodka recorded the first growth in total consumption since 2013.
Whiskies recorded strong, double-digit total volume growth in 2020, even higher than the already robust development over the previous year. Home consumption increased significantly due to the inability to travel, with a simultaneous drop in sales in the foodservice channel due to the COVID-19-related restrictions.
Gin continued to achieve the strongest growth in off-trade volume terms within spirits in 2020. In addition to increasing interest in the drink as a form of entertainment at home (making cocktails), it also benefited from a switch from on-trade sales during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Spirits is expected to return to low total volume growth in 2021 followed by similarly depressed rates over the reminder of the forecast period. Gin will continue to outperform as more Russians favour cocktails, while single-malt Scotch whisky will also become more popular as some wealthier Russians seek more sophisticated options, while Canadian and Japanese whiskies will become less popular due to weaker distribution.
Faced with adverse shifts in the prevailing demographic trends and with consumer habits likely to be unfavourable for sales of vodka, the country’s leading distillers of spirits have been forced to diversify their portfolios to remain relevant and competitive. Beluga Group was one of the first vodka players to realise the potential for a more diversified portfolio of spirits to yield positive results.
The return to negative dynamics in vodka in Russia will encourage players to develop their export businesses. In 2020, the Russian government introduced a state support programme to help exports, including supporting lower interest rates on loans to develop this type of business.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Spirits industry in Russia 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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