Asia Pacific beverage sales set to return to growth in 2021

Beverage alcohol in Asia Pacific markets is expected to gain more than +2% in volume and more than +4% in retail value by the end of 2021, according to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis.

According to data from 19 markets across the Asia Pacific region, total beverage alcohol volume in decreased by approximately -8% in 2020. IWSR forecasts that long-term volume recovery in the APAC region will return to pre-Covid levels by 2025.

With the exception of wine, which is expected to show volume declines at the regional level, each of the other major alcohol categories are projected to post volume growth in APAC.

“Though an unprecedented downturn, the decline in beverage alcohol in Asia Pacific was less than previously forecast, as several factors ultimately helped the industry last year,” said Sarah Campbell, research director for Asia Pacific at IWSR.

“The acceleration of ecommerce, growth of RTDs, strong at-home consumption in key markets, and the resilience of countries such as China and Australia, will underpin the region’s growth going forward.”

Travel retail, hit particularly hard by Covid-led shutdowns in international travel and tourism, lost more than -70% volume in Asia Pacific last year, but IWSR predicts volume in the channel will grow by more than +50% in 2021.

Green shoots in the region include the Chinese government’s decision to designate Hainan as a duty-free territory for beverage alcohol, boosting global travel retail activity long-term.