IWSR (International Wines and Spirits Record), the UK bellwether for worldwide wine, beer, and spirits sales, released its 2022 market analysis showing mixed results with a silver lining. Overall, wine, beer, and cider volumes contracted slightly (-2%, -2%, and -4%, respectively), but RTD (ready-to-drink) and spirits saw growth of one and two percent. Given the overall state of the economy, the results make sense. However, the real story lies in the premiums in all categories.
Despite upward pricing pressures from increased materials and transportation (both incoming and end-user shipping), premiums saw tremendous volume growth. Leading the charge, upscale RTDs surged 38%, trailed by spirits (13%), cider (11%), wine (6%), and beer trailing at 4% expansion. The key concept, despite overall market results, is “expansion.” These results fly in the face of common wisdom. However, the outcomes likely reflect post-pandemic pent-up demand and a possible backlash against austerity measures resulting from negative economic news.
Brandy Rand, Chief Strategy Officer, IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, said, “Economic uncertainty continued throughout 2022, ranging from inflation to talks of a recession to supply chain instability. Despite this, a recent IWSR consumer price sensitivity survey shows Americans feel confident about their finances at a personal level.”
Despite the apparent perpetuation of upward inflationary pressures, consecutive annual growth in the ultra-premium marketplace is likely to continue. This trend bodes well for producers at the upper end of the spectrum and may yield positive results if mass-production lines follow suit.
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