Surprise: These Two Spirits Are Dominating the Global Booze Industry
Vodka’s hurting, while a couple of unexpected tipples are thriving
When you’re working with people in the drinks industry, you’ll hear a lot about “the next big thing.” Based on loose conversations this year, that could mean mezcal, rum, Cognac, low-ABV spirits or canned wine.
Forget the conversations. The actual numbers point to a noticeable trend toward English gin and Irish whiskey, according to a recent study by Euromonitor of global alcohol consumption by volume. As The Spirits Business notes, the study showed both of these spirits experiencing a volume growth of 9 percent in 2018 … during a year when spirits volume overall grew by just 1.1 percent.
Some other fun facts from the Euromonitor report:
- Bourbon saw a 5 percent gain in spite of several rounds of damaging tariffs
- Beer, surprisingly, had a small upswing of 1.3 percent. In the U.S., you can attribute that rise the craft brewing.
- Vodka experienced its sixth year of decline, with one exception. “The juggernaut that is Tito’s continues motoring on,” says Spiros Malandrakis, the rather expressive head of alcoholic drinks research at Euromonitor. “[But] that remains a white knight in the sea of gloom and overwhelming, cyclical maturity, otherwise engulfing this most ubiquitous of white spirits.”
While volume growth overall seem stalled, the value of our boozy consumption is expected to rise 14.9 percent through 2022, according to a recent report from Vinexpo and IWSR. Fueling that rise? Imported and premium-plus spirits (except vodka), which The Spirits Business suggests as a trend of “drinking less but better.”
(If you want to try one of these trending spirits and save a few bucks, check out our guide to the best Irish whiskeys under $30).
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