The world suddenly drank fewer alcoholic beverages in 2016. The experts at IWSR, the British market analysis institute, published data showing a global fall in alcohol consumption, a part from wine, which remains stable.

IWSR results

Alcohol consumption falls in 2016: -1.3% according to IWSR, the British Market Analysis Institute, with a 1.3% overall drop, compared to an average 0.3% drop in the five preceding years. The accelerated decrease can be explained by reductions in beer, cider and mixed drink consumption. Wine, however, is stable. In detail, cider showed a -1.5% change in 2016 after some years of solid growth. According to IWSR, this backsliding is attributable to South Africa and the United States, where a change of -15.2% followed years of double-digit growth. For beer, the market lost 1.8% in 2016, compared to an average decrease in the preceding five years of 6%. The countries that defied the trend were China, Brazil and Russia respectively, with-4.2%, -5.3% and -7.8% decreases, much more than the slide in the earlier five years.

The spirits sector

The spirits sector, instead, showed an increase of 3%, conditioned by a notable fall in vodka (-4.3% in one year), which lost more than 9.3% in its most important market, Russia. On the positive side, growth was seen in gin consumption (+3.7%), tequila (+5.2%) and whisky (+1.7%). The United States, China and Mexico are the three countries in which consumption grew the most.

Wine consumption in 2016

And how was 2016 for wine, according to ISWR? A -0.1% change shows general stability, thanks to the sparkling sector which in 2016 increased consumption by 1.8% while still wines lost0.5%. But although 2016 was particularly difficult, the IWSR predictions for 2021 are much rosier and show more plus signs, with global consumption of alcoholic beverages estimated to grow 0.8%. The elements that contribute to this expansion phase are as follows: whisky consumption is predicted to grow 650 million liters within 2021; mixed drinks will increase more than 400 million liters in 5 years; bubbly wines will sell 200 million liters more, and beer consumption will also grow, above all in Asia and in the sub-Sahara zones of Africa.