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Spirits and RTDs Market - Global Annual Review - 2016

With global volumes almost flat, premiumisation was the main theme of the global spirits market in 2015. In developed, mature markets such as in Western Europe and North America, consumers are being influenced to choose quality spirits over quantity because of health concerns, worry about adverse alcohol effects, higher rates of disposable income, and greater interest and awareness in better quality food and drink.

Craft spirits also continue to rise in these more mature markets as consumers seek something more authentic and “special”. Despite currently being restricted mainly to North America and Europe, craft spirits accounted for one in every nine new global retail releases in both 2014 and 2015.

In emerging markets, premium spirits remain a means for middle- and upper-class consumers to publicly parade their wealth and social status. This helps explain why Brazil and Mexico both make it into the top-five Scotch importers, according to the latest 2015 half-year figures from the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA). However, in China the motivation to drink for status is becoming dissipated by the anti-extravagance socio-political climate.

Flavour is another recurrent theme of spirits innovation, and Mintel’s research shows that among younger, Millennial consumers in all regions, it has become – and continues to be - a significant purchase influencer for both dark spirits such as whiskies and white spirits like vodka and tequila.

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Spirits and RTDs Market - Global Annual Review - 2016

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