Lifestyle / Alcohol

Most Popular Spirit 2015: Cider?

A fresh spirits’ industry report notes that cider, premium tequila and American whiskey enjoyed a spike in popularity in 2015.

Aug 24, 2016 | By Staff Writer

Cider has been on a five-year popularity upswing and is one of the biggest growth stories of 2015. A fresh spirits’ industry report notes that cider, premium tequila and American whiskey enjoyed a spike in popularity in 2015.

The analysts who put together the IWSR Global Trends Report 2016 paint a picture of what the world drank in 2015 – and what it didn’t.

According to the report, while sales of Scotch whisky were flat last year, consumption of US whiskey increased by five percent, or an additional two million, nine-liter cases. There is no news here on Japanese whiskies but we suspect the supply issues plaguing both Japan and Scotland are crimping demand.

One of the biggest driving forces behind increased demand for whiskey is the rise of premium and super-premium whiskeys and demand in North America, which accounts for 70 percent of the market. Honestly, it is about time American whiskey came into its own again instead of settling for being a house-pour favorite. In total, 39.5 million cases were consumed last year.

By contrast, sales of Scotch whisky remained flat at 86.9 million nine-liter cases.

Consumers also seem to have been smitten by cider last year, as it recorded one of the largest increases of any category in 2015. Overall, consumption rose three percent, continuing on a five-year trend. The biggest cider consumers were in Africa and North America.

Over the last few years, the popularity of craft beers has carried over to cider, with breweries making small batches and using local varieties of apples to create a distinctly local product.

Europe cuts down on wine

Tequila continued to be popular in 2015, with consumption growing four percent, or an additional 1.2 million nine-liter cases.

Driving the growth was super-premium tequila, with consumption highest in North America and Latin America, together accounting for 90 percent of overall consumption.

Meanwhile, consumption of still wine dipped last year, to total a loss equivalent to 7.5 million cases.

According to the report, it seems that consumers in key European market are drinking less wine, while consumption is rising the most in North America and posting modest growth in Asia and Africa.

The report also identifies light and floral varietals and spritzers as wine trends that emerged last year.

Meanwhile, 2015 was a lackluster year for vodka, rum, cognac, brandy, flavored spirits and beer, which all posted a dip in global consumption.

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