Allegrini 2018

Iwsr: in the year of the pandemic, the world loses 8% of consumed alcohol volumes

In the numbers analyzed by WineNews, wine: in 2020 consumption dropped by -9.3%. Italy does worse, and leaves 19.5% on the ground
Wine consumption and more during the pandemic, according to Iwsr

During the pandemic, it has been said by many and many sources that, locked in the house, bored and without the opportunity to meet in bars and restaurants, we even ended up drinking more than usual. But is this really the case? This is the question many people have been asking themselves, all over the world, especially in the wine and spirits industry. Well, the answer, according to Iwsr’s analysis of the 19 main consumer markets in the world is: no. The world, at the end of 2020, will lose 8% of total alcohol consumption by volume, with the sole exception of the United States and Canada, which will record, instead, a 2% growth. For wine, as revealed by the disaggregated data analyzed by WineNews, the drop is a little more consistent than the average, and stands at -9.3% overall. Which, thus, also goes to impact the long-term forecasts, with the trend of the period 2019-2024 revised downwards, and also down: -1.3% per year. In this context, Italy does even worse. In 2020, wine consumption in the Belpaese will leave 19.5% on the ground, for a loss, between 2019 and 2024, of -3.2% per year.
Impressive, and it could not be otherwise, is the collapse of consumption in travel retail, that is, the channel of airports, stations, rest areas, which lost 68% of alcohol consumption. In general, domestic consumption, with the exceptions of the USA and Canada, cannot compensate for the drop in consumption outside the home. But there are those who come close, such as Australia, which in the end limits the loss of consumed volumes to 1%. The worst performer, in percentage terms, is South Africa, which in lockdown banned the sale of alcohol in retail stores and large-scale distribution: a draconian measure that led to a 34% drop in alcohol consumed in the country. Turkey, with a drop of over 25%, India and Mexico, which lost over 15%, also collapsed. In an important market such as Great Britain, on the other hand, the drop forecast by the IWSR in volume will be -10% for 2020, but if beer, vodka, gin and scotch will close in negative territory, still wine will show further growth.
The pandemic has also given a big boost to the so-called “Ready to Drink” products, i.e. pre-mixed, in cans or bottles, so fashionable in the United States. But also non-alcoholic beer, which in the UK will grow at a rate of +4% per year between 2019 and 2024. Even in Russia and Poland, where the global decline in alcohol consumption in 2020 will be -1% and -6%, non-alcoholic beer is set to fly: +12% per year. Where government measures have been more stringent, such as in Spain, where 70% of consumption takes place habitually outside the home, the drop will be more substantial: a -16% is expected by the end of the year. As in South Africa, India has also banned the sale of alcohol during the lockdown, and will lose 22% of consumption. China, after an initial collapse, experienced an important rebound in alcohol consumption, which will close with a loss limited to -9%. In short, during the pandemic, people drank decidedly less, and with rare exceptions, domestic consumption was unable to make up for the drop in on premise. Now, as the Iwsr reminds us, we are facing a 2021 full of challenges and difficulties, from the decline in purchasing power of many consumers to the backward march of premiumization.

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