Spirit, also known as distilled beverage, is an alcoholic beverage manufactured by distillation (process of separating component substances from a liquid mixture by using process of vaporization and condensation) of a mixture produced from alcoholic fermentation. Distillation process is used to purify the mixture and to remove diluting components like water from the mixture for the purpose of increasing its proportion of alcohol content (alcohol by volume (ABV)).
Spirit is known by different name in different region such as hard liquor and liquor in general. North Americans use the term hard liquor to distinguish distilled beverage from non-distilled one. Distilled beverages having more than 10% alcoholic content falls under spirit category. Beer, wine and cider are not considered as spirit as alcoholic content in these products is less than 10%.
Global spirit market is bifurcated in various alcoholic products which includes vodka, gin, tequila, rum, whisky, brandy, cane, natural spirits and flavored spirits. Vodka leads the global spirit market followed by whisky. Whisky showed highest growth in the past few years and is expected to witness same growth in the coming years due to increasing consumption in the countries such as China and India. Despite global recession, premium and super premium brand showed average market.
Asia-Pacific has the largest market for alcoholic products, followed by North America and Europe. Asia-Pacific is expected to maintain its dominance in the global spirit market due to increasing domestic consumption in countries such as China and India. China leads the Asia-Pacific spirit market but India is expected to grow fastest. In China, sales of imported spirit have grown four times in the last ten years. Baijiu (white spirit) and rice wine are the most popular alcoholic drinks in China. About 88% of alcohol consumers in India consume spirit remaining 12% consume beer and wine. Whisky is the most widely consumed alcoholic product in Indian Market. Brazil is reported to have highest per capita consumption of whisky globally in the coming years.
Global spirit market has witness slow growth in past few years due to global recession. Since, 2013, the spirit market has shown growth mainly due to the increasing demand from emerging nations such as Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC). This is expected to drive the global spirit market. Rising level of disposable income is also driving the global spirit market. Consumers prefer premium brands and are ready to pay more for higher quality brands. Additionally, social media are coming up with innovative campaigns focusing of spirit brands. This can provide an excellent growth opportunity for the alcohol retailers to get connected to the potential customers.
Increasing younger population is also expected to add on to the increasing demand of spirit boosting the global spirit market. In the U.K. 47% of population between 18-24 years drinks regularly where as the percentage increases to 67% for population aging 25-44 years. However, government regulatory for alcohol in high growth market such as India is expected to hamper the overall spirit market. Sales of alcohol in India is only restricted to government approved shops. Also, alcohol advertising is banned along with alcohol drinking in public places.
Global spirit market is dominated by premium and super premium brands. Some of the major companies operating in the global spirit market are Diageo plc, Pernod-Ricard SA, Brown-Forman corp., Constellation Brands, Inc., Remy Cointreau SA, Marnier Lapostolle SA, Belvedere SA and Berentzen-Gruppe AG.
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