Global alcohol industry to recover by 2023, says IWSR

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Global alcohol consumption is “showing positive signs of recovery” and will return to pre-Covid levels by 2023, according to the International Wines and Spirits Record (IWSR). 

The group forecast sales will increase by an average of 1.5 per cent every year for the next four years, after the industry suffered a torrid 2020. 

Consumption plummeted by over six per cent in the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, with beers and whiskies especially hard-hit by the closure of pubs and restaurants. 

However, the sector was kept afloat by people continuing to drink at home and e-commerce sales, which grew by 45 per cent from 2019. 

READ MOREM&S appoints former Waitrose buying exec as head of beers, wines and spirits

No-alcohol spirits and pre-mixed drinks will show the strongest growth, increasing by 30.6 per cent and 10.2 per cent every year to 2025. 

Premium wines and spirits are also expected to prove popular, with consumption rising by a quarter over the same period. 

“Covid-19 accelerated the impact and growth of key industry drivers, such as the development of e-commerce, premiumisation, the rise of the ‘home premise,’ moderation, and the need for convenience in product formats,” IWSR chief executive Mark Meek said. 

“These are the trends that will also underpin the industry’s resilience as it pivots to meet consumers where they are in the years to come. 

“Additionally, across many markets, some segments of the population now have significantly more disposable income than they did in 2019, some of which will be spent on […] alcohol.” 

The news comes after the charity Drinkaware warned that nearly four in 10 people on furlough had started drinking more since the start of lockdown.

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