Asia Pacific alcohol sales to grow 2% in 2021

The IWSR expects the retail value of alcohol in the region to increase by more than 4% by end of this year. The analyst looked at 19 markets across Asia Pacific, and found that total beverage alcohol volume in the region fell by about 8% in 2020. Apart from wine, each major alcohol category is forecast to post volume growth in the region, with spirits increasing 0.5% and the ready-to-drink (RTD) sector up 6% (CAGR 2021-2025). Beer is predicted to rise by 2% and cider will grow by 1%.

“Though an unprecedented downturn, the decline in beverage alcohol in Asia Pacific was less than previously forecast, as several factors ultimately helped the industry last year,” said Sarah Campbell, research director for Asia Pacific at IWSR Drinks Market Analysis. “The acceleration of e-commerce, growth of RTDs, strong at-home consumption in key markets, and the resilience of countries such as China and Australia, will underpin the region’s growth going forward.”

The IWSR noted that travel retail reported a 70% volume loss in the region last year due to Covid-19 restrictions on travel. Volume in the channel is predicted to rise by more than 50% in 2021.

Performance by country

By market, IWSR said Australia’s alcohol sales grew by about 3% last year, the highest of any Asia Pacific market. IWSR forecasts that the alcohol market in Australia – predominantly an off-trade-focused one ­­­­– will ‘soften slightly’ over the next five years. Spirits and RTDs were the two categories that experienced the largest volume gains in 2020, while beer rose by 3% and wine declined.

China’s alcohol sales fell by almost 6% in 2020 due to its reliance on the on-trade, but it is predicted to rise by nearly 4% this year. IWSR noted the positive performance of flavoured spirits and RTDs, as well as single malts, the latter of which rose 20% in 2020.

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