Premiumisation shows first signs of slowing down

According to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, the first half of 2022 (H1) saw value growth of beverage alcohol reaching historic highs, driven by a combination of post-pandemic demand and price increases.

However, a recent consumer survey from October this year, conducted by IWSR, indicated that consumer confidence is beginning to weaken in many markets.

This contrasts with the more positive APAC region, with India’s market, driven by Scotch whisky, being one of the fastest-growing markets in the premium-and-above spirits category.

Across 20 key markets, which make up about 75% of total global beverage alcohol volume consumption, the latest findings showed H1 2022 total beverage alcohol volumes in premium-and-above price bands grew +7% compared to H1 2019.

IWSR data shows signs of downtrading across many beverage alcohol categories, with an increasing focus on reducing quantity but maintaining quality. It also showed that consumers are turning more to at-home consumption, while looking to the on premise to provide experience-led drinking occasions.

The IWSR also noted that short-term on-trade growth will be muted due to the economic environment, however in most markets the on-trade growth rates are higher than the off-trade.

H1 2022 saw spirits in premium-plus prices bands gain +6% in volume terms on H1 2021, and +13% on H1 2019, with premium-plus spirit growth remaining relatively broad-based across categories including gin, rum, malt Scotch, and US and Irish whiskey.

Agave was a key driver in this, as premium-plus agave-based spirits saw growth of +16% in H1 2022 vs H1 2021, with much of this driven by the tequila category in the US.

With beer volumes lower than pre-pandemic levels, the category is showing recovery, most noticeably +12% H1 2021-22 growth in Brazil and +5% H1 2021-22 in Mexico. 

Ecommerce will continue to grow, at a moderate rate, following a boost during the pandemic which saw value growth of almost +43% in 2020, compared to +12% in 2019.