Following a steep decline in 2020, spirits saw total volume sales return to growth in 2021. This was mainly due to a rapid rebound in on-trade consumption as more Uruguayans started visiting foodservice outlets once again and inbound tourism began to recover in line with the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines and the easing of public health restrictions.
Whiskies remained the largest of the main spirits categories in Uruguay in total volume sales terms in 2021, followed by other spirits and liqueurs. Within whiskies, drinkers continued to show a strong preference for other blended Scotch whisky, where the leading brands include Ye Monks, Vat 69 and William Lawson's.
In August 2021, FNC took over responsibility for the distribution of leading bitters brand Fernet-Branca in Uruguay from Carrau. Prior to this, Carrau had distributed the brand in the country for 115 years via a partnership with Italian owner Fratelli Branca Distillerie.
The outlook for spirits is bright, with total volume sales expected to increase consistently over the forecast period. On-trade volume growth looks set to remain comparatively high in the short term as the diminishing threat from COVID-19 encourages more Uruguayans to resume their usual socialising habits.
Having weathered the disruption caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 better than most categories in 2020 and continued to expand at an impressive pace in 2021, bitters looks set to remain one of the strongest performers within spirits in terms of total volume sales growth over the forecast period. This is partly due to the success of Fernet-Branca, by far the most popular brand in the category, which is imported from Argentina and has garnered a broad appeal in Uruguay in recent years.
As is the case with beer and wine, premiumisation is expected to remain strong in spirits over the forecast period. Aside from increasing consumer sophistication, this trend should be supported by improvements in confidence and spending power as Uruguay’s economy continues to recover from the negative impact of the pandemic.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Spirits industry in Uruguay 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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