Sales of wine, beer and spirits fell by €2.7 billion or 4 per cent in all major markets in Europe in 2022. This was gathered by the market research company IRI from retailers' sales in the six key markets of France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and the UK. This puts sales of alcoholic beverages below pre-pandemic levels.
Commenting on the figures, Ananda Roy, Global Senior Vice President, Strategic Growth Insights at IRI, says: "It is increasingly clear that demand has changed in response to post-pandemic trends, with new consumption patterns and choices influencing category growth over the next few years. Households have to make trade-offs to mitigate the impact on their disposable income. They are prioritising staple foods and small treats over consumer goods such as alcohol."
Sparkling wine, on the other hand, proved resistant to this trend. On special occasions, consumers "wanted special indulgence, even if that meant buying champagne and prosecco from discounters rather than large supermarkets," Roy said, explaining the change.
The reduced-alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks category in the UK bucked the trend, growing by 3.7 per cent in volume to 5 million litres and 5.3 per cent in value to £16 million. The report predicts that sales in this segment will continue to grow in 2023 as major retailers invest in range and shelf space - and promotions such as Dry January become increasingly important.
According to IRI, price increases could further dampen demand, especially in Germany and the UK. There, the citizens are most affected by the rising cost of living. However, "strong brand values tend to persuade customers to buy their favourite beer, wine and spirits brands. However, as prices rise, we might also expect more people to switch to supermarket own brands, as they do in other categories where they are perceived to be as good as imported brands."
(al / source: harpers.co.uk; photo: 123rf)