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Published on: January 26, 2015
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Rabobank: While demand for spirits across Europe has been mixed, the US market continues to grow http://pr.co/p/00210q
Summary
Rabobank’s Spirits Quarterly Q1 reports that while the demand for spirits across Europe has been mixed, in the US the spirits market continues to grow with value still outpacing volumes. On the other hand, a heavier discounting arises in China triggered by the increase of e-commerce and consumer migration away from the luxury segment of the Chinese spirits market. India appears to have returned to growth mode with Brazil following this trend due to diversification and innovation across brands.
Details

Rabobank’s Spirits Quarterly Q1 reports that while the demand for spirits across Europe has been mixed, in the US the spirits market continues to grow with value still outpacing volumes. On the other hand, a heavier discounting arises in China triggered by the increase of e-commerce and consumer migration away from the luxury segment of the Chinese spirits market. India appears to have returned to growth mode with Brazil following this trend due to diversification and innovation across brands.

“The US market is currently experiencing its slowest rate of volume growth since the recession. While the overall trends in the US market remain positive, it should be noted that the ongoing premiumisation trends (particularly in whiskey) and the success of several new key product innovations, which have helped drive the success of the market, have masked some of the underlying challenges. Volume growth remains positive, but there has been a marked slowdown in the rate of growth in 2014.”, explains Rabobank’s Global Strategist-Beverages Ross Colbert.

The past months have shown some signs of stabilisation in the European spirits sector, but as the mixed financial results of the major spirits companies such as Pernord and Gruppo Campari show, we are not out of the woods yet. Scotch producers are facing another hurdle as export figures for 2014 are showing signs of a slowdown in the sector while high-quality aged sipping rums are winning over consumers in the UK, Benelux, France, the Nordics and Eastern Europe.

China’s spirits market is being reshaped by a number of factors, including the continued consumer migration away from luxury segment. Going forward Baijiu companies in the country are expected to slow their shipments to preserve the stability of prices of their leading premium, given continuing weak performances (i.e. 22% decline in total net profit in Q1). Additionally, e-commerce continues to increase, supported in part by aggressive pricing, forcing traditional channels to change.

The Indian spirits market shows growth (i.e. Diageo-owned United Spirits: 5.8% total volume increase) while it continues to see the structural shift from a volume-based to a value-based business model. On the margin front, the operational environment remains challenging mainly due to regulatory changes and price hikes.

Cachaça sales in Brazil returned to growth across measured channels in 2014, supported by greater innovation, favourable weather and the World Cup. A weaker economy, has the market forecasting weaker consumption through the Christmas and Carnival season compared to last year. Once again the weather conditions and new policy changes will play a huge role in 2015.

For more information about this publication please contact its authors:

USA: Ross Colbert: ross.colbert@rabobank.com

Stephen Rannekleiv: stephen.rannekleiv@rabobank.com

Europe: Elena Saputo: elena.saputo@rabobank.com

India: Sudip Sinha: sudip.sinha@rabobank.com

Brazil: Andres Padilla: andres.padilla@rabobank.com

For other information, please contact Rabobank press office:

k.verheul1@rn.rabobank.nl+31 30 21 66918

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Quotes
“The US market is currently experiencing its slowest rate of volume growth since the recession. While the overall trends in the US market remain positive, it should be noted that the ongoing premiumisation trends (particularly in whiskey) and the success of several new key product innovations, which have helped drive the success of the market, have masked some of the underlying challenges. Volume growth remains positive, but there has been a marked slowdown in the rate of growth in 2014.”

— Rabobank’s Global Strategist-Beverages Ross Colbert