The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Beverage alcohol retail value reaches $336bn in Asia-Pacific

The retail value of the beverage alcohol market in Asia-Pacific grew by 9.8% in 2017 versus 2016, despite total alcohol consumption falling by -0.6%, or -63.3m nine-litre cases, according to the latest data from the IWSR, the world’s leading authority on global beverage alcohol data and analysis.

Four of the top five most valuable Asia-Pacific markets (China, India, Australia and South Korea) grew in value in 2017 versus 2016, despite volume losses in the top four (China, Japan, India and Australia). Only South Korea grew in volume and value.

The drop in total volume for the Asia-Pacific region has been driven by the continuing decline in beer consumption in China. Japan, the second-largest Asian beer market, is also in decline and is set to be overtaken by Vietnam in the next few years.

Beer was the only major category to lose volumes in Asia-Pacific. Spirits consumption was up by 0.2% (3.4m cases) in volumes terms and 16.1% in value terms, with baijiu in China, by far the largest spirits category in the region, accounting for most of this increase, and Japan and Burma making the next-largest contributions thanks to strong growth in local whiskies.

Wine consumption increased by 0.4% in volume and 6.7% in value, with local huangjiu (rice wine) in China being the main driver. Still wine volumes fell by -1.1% overall (-2.9m cases); falls in local Chinese grape wine consumption outpaced the strong growth of imported still wine in China. The retail value of still wine in Asia-Pacific grew 7.5%.

Mixed drinks grew 1.2% (volume) and 4.4% (value) thanks to the vast and still expanding Japanese RTD market as younger consumers continue to shift away from beer.