In 2023, the global alcohol market will return to pre-Covid-19 levels

30 June 2021

According to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, the global spirits market is showing signs of recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw a drop in alcohol sales by 6.2% worldwide.

Sales by volume are expected to increase by almost 3% in 2021, with total alcohol and beverage consumption expected to return to pre-Covid levels by 2023. In the long run, volume sales are projected to grow at an average annual growth rate of 1.5% from 2021 to 2025. Meanwhile, alcohol sales by volume are projected to increase by 0.6% worldwide in 2021 and at an annual rate of 0 , 8% from 2021 to 2025.

The two fastest growing categories are non-alcoholic beverages, which are expected to increase by 30.6% from 2021 to 2025 and Ready to Drink products with a projected increase of 10.2% over the same period. The new data also highlighted the impressive growth of the tequila category, which grew by 9.6% in 2020, surpassing rum as the third largest alcoholic beverage category in the US.

On the other hand, global whiskey sales fell 10.7% last year, although the category is expected to grow by 5.5% in 2021 and an average annual growth rate of 4.2% from 2021 to 2025, led by Irish whiskey (+ 7.9% CAGR 2021-2025), Japanese whiskey (+ 6%) and American whiskey (+ 5.1%). The projected increase of scotch whiskey by 3.8% is expected to come from the Indian market, as well as from the return of travel retail worldwide. With regard to white spirits, the IWSR predicted that gin would increase by 4.5% CAGR in the years 2021-2025, with Brazil, South Africa and Russia being the main selling countries for these products as well as and for the premium spirits category. Russia has not experienced a impact on sales of premium vodka, as it is the leading market for this alcoholic, while the advent of Covid-19 has seen Russian consumers increase consumption. In the USΑ – the second largest market for vodka – it is projected to move up 1.1% from 2021 to 2025.