So much has been learnt from 2018 in terms what the future could be like for the alcohol industry worldwide. While alcohol consumption is growing, people have their preferences of alcohol widely different from region to region. Based on the study of the 2018 alcohol trends, here is the 2019 alcohol trend prediction.
American consumers drank more distilled spirits and wine in 2018, but total beverage alcohol consumption in the United States declined for the third consecutive year, as a result of continued weakening beer volume.
In preliminary figures released today by the IWSR, total alcohol volume in the U.S. declined -0.8% last year to 3.345 billion 9-litre cases, which is slightly worse than the -0.7% slip the year prior. Distilled spirits were up +1.9% and wine grew slightly by +0.4%.
Innovations in the cider and mixed drinks categories helped reverse their decline from 2017, to post increases of +4.1% and +6.1%, respectively. Beer, which at 2.62 billion 9-litre cases has long dominated the alcohol market in the U.S., was down -1.5%.
These initial 2018 category results for the U.S. market are part of the IWSR U.S. Beverage Alcohol Review (US BAR) database, available to IWSR’s global customers.
“Spirits and wine showed slight growth in 2018, but those category increases weren’t as high as previous years. It’s clear that Americans are drinking less overall, which is likely a result of the continued trend toward health and wellness,” said Brandy Rand, IWSR’s U.S. President and global Chief Marketing Officer.
He said, “We’ve also seen for some time now that consumers aren’t necessarily loyal to just one category, which leads to less volume for individual brands. Also, the ageing baby boomer population, the largest group of legal drinking age consumers, is contributing to slowed growth as well.”
Beer Market Share Declines, Craft Beer Rises
As beer volumes have declined, so has the category’s share of the total U.S. alcohol market. In 2018, beer commanded 78.3% of U.S. alcohol volume, down from 78.9% in 2017.
Consumer interest in craft beer remains healthy, however, with a 2018 increase of +4.7%, and a continued rise in on-site consumption at domestic breweries.
Total spirits in the U.S. reached 230.2 million 9-liter cases in 2018, driven by whisky (up +4.1%), tequila (up +8.5%), cognac/Armagnac (up +5.6%), and brandy (up +1.7%).
Yet the largest gain was in the fast-growing mezcal category, which saw an increase of +32.4%, albeit from a relatively small base of 261,000 9-litre cases.
24th Consecutive Year of Wine Growth
In 2018, wine achieved its 24th consecutive year of volume growth in the U.S., aided by more than 13,000 wineries in the country, a number which increased by almost 1,000 in 2018.
The still wine segment, which commands 87.3% of the total wine category, was up only 0.2%. Sparkling wine, led by prosecco (+11%), increased by 4.3%.
Alcoholic Seltzers and Ciders Prove Popular
The mixed drinks category (how the IWSR defines ready-to-drink, flavoured malt beverages, and other premixed cocktails) was the most buoyant segment within U.S. beverage alcohol in 2018, up +6.1%, driven by an increased thirst for alcoholic seltzers, which consumers often perceive as healthier alternatives to other products.
Additionally, rose-flavoured ciders and local craft ciders helped drive +4.1% growth in that category.
This information is considered preliminary data (p) and is subject to revision with the official IWSR 2018 global database release in May 2019.
The Scene in India
According to a report by WHO on alcohol and health, Indians have been drinking more in the past decade and alcohol consumption only seems to be rising.
According to WHO’s ‘global status report on alcohol and health 2018; globally, an estimated 2.3 billion are current drinkers.
The increase in consumption is already visible in the hugely populated countries of India and China, says the report.
Per capita consumption of alcohol in India went up from 2.4 litres in 2005, to 5.7 litres in 2016. Most Indians drank spirits, few drank beer (8 per cent) and even fewer drank wine (less than per cent), the report said.
The Chinese drank a lot too—4.1 litres in 2005 to 7.2 litres in 2016. The Chinese drank more beer (30 per cent) and less wine (3 per cent).
Worldwide, 45 per cent of total recorded alcohol is consumed in the form of spirits. Beer is the second alcoholic beverage in terms of pure alcohol consumed (34 per cent) followed by wine (12 per cent).
There have been only minor changes in preferences of alcoholic beverages since 2010. The largest changes took place in Europe, where consumption of spirits decreased by 3 per cent whereas that of wine and beer increased.
The average daily consumption of people who drink alcohol is 33 grams of pure alcohol a day, roughly equivalent to two glasses (each of 150 ml) of wine, a large (750 ml) bottle of beer or two shots (each of 40 ml) of spirits.
So, judging by the trend of people preferring less industrial involvement when it comes to their favourite drinks, spirits will remain the classic choice of alcohol lovers but 2019 will surely see growth of craft beers and wine lovers.