The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Spirits consumption likely to overtake wine according to global study

Changing consumer trends means that global spirits sales are likely to surpass wine, according to a newly-released global study.

Released in Geneva to coincide with the World Spirits Allicance’s (WSA) annual meeting, the Oxford Economics and alcohol market research firm IWSR report said that 2.67 billion cases of spirits were sold in 2022, almost as many as the 2.8 billion cases of wine sold that year.

“Should current trends in both categories continue, spirits volumes will soon surpass those of wine,” the report said.

Speaking from Geneva today, Spirits New Zealand Chief Executive Robert Brewer says the trends identified in the WSA Global Economic Impact Study can be seen in New Zealand.

“As consumers drink less they are choosing to spend their money differently. This has meant a surge in popularity for premium spirits and spirit-based beverages,” he says.

“It’s part of the global trend where consumers are moderating their drinking by sipping and savouring a premium spirit or cocktail.

“In fact in 2023, according to Statistics NZ data, the volume of spirits and spirit-based beverages available for consumption in New Zealand overtook wine for the first time.

“This is also good news for our fledgling g homegrown spirits sector which prides itself on producing premium spirits and which is already establishing itself as a growing exporter of premium product,” says Brewer.

Headline figures from the report include –

  • The spirits industry contributed US$730 billion (approx. NZ$1,197 billion) gross value added to global GDP in 2022.
  • Supporting 36 million jobs worldwide (equivalent to the entire workforce of the UK).
  • In 2022, the spirits industry generated US$390 billion (approx. NZ$640 billion) in tax revenue for governments globally, which if it was a national economy would put it in the top 20 worldwide.
  • With US$120 billion (approx. NZ$197 billion) spent on third party suppliers like grain growers and bottle-makers, the spirits industry fuels a diverse range of sectors.
  • 50% of spirits sold globally in 2022 were at premium level or above, reflecting consumers’ growing preference to drink less and drink better.

To read the full economic impact report, click here.

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