Asia-Pacific to become the fastest-growing alcoholic drinks region over the next five years

International Wine & Spirit Research (IWSR) says that Asia-Pacific will be the fastest-growing region for the alcoholic beverage markets over the next five years.

According to its Forecast Report 2011-2016, Asia-Pacific will overtake the Americas as the second-largest region for consumption and – shortly after the remit of the report – will surpass Europe.

The latest IWSR forecasts predict total spirits consumption to rise from 2.81bn cases to 3.32bn – a rise of more than half a billion cases between 2010 and 2016. 85.9% of this growth will come from just two markets – China (63.2%) and India (22.7%).

The key characteristic over the next five years will be the ever-increasing importance of emerging markets especially in Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and much of South America. The growing importance of brown spirits will also be a key trend, as will continued, and significant, premiumisation although at a slower rate than previously due to a weaker economic outlook for many countries.

Premium-and-above spirits will rise from 109.35m cases to 143.07m cases. Vodka and whisk(e)y will account for 71.4% of total growth of the western-style categories in the standard-and-above quality segments.

Growth in Asia is not just restricted to spirits: 75% of the growth forecast for wine consumption comes from China which is expected to add more than 240m cases between 2010 and 2016. Total wine is predicted to rise from 3.32bn to 3.65bn cases – a rise of 326m cases by 2016. Strong growth is also anticipated in the US (+45.8m cases) and Russia (+21.4m cases).

While growth of wine consumption surges in many emerging economies, the stagnation of many traditional western markets is balancing consumption levels. The share of the top 10 wine markets will rise fractionally from 70.6% to 71.1% between 2010 and 2016, with the huge growth in China being offset to some degree by falls in traditional producer countries.

Beer’s share is set to rise marginally by 0.7% by 2016 versus other types of alcohol as demand grows further in the emerging markets of China, Vietnam, Brazil, India and Russia – predicted to be the five fastest-growing markets.