With world spirits consumption at a record high, the launch of a dedicated spirits area at VINEXPO 2015 highlights the growing number of brands jostling for a share of a market forecast to reach nearly 3.2 billion cases by 2018.
Focus of the spirits action is the Spiritual bar where Masterclasses in cocktail making, flairing and spirits appreciation by mixologists from the United States Bartenders Guild (USBG) run all day from Sunday to Wednesday. The bar also features the participation of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (Discus) hosting seminars and tastings with the USBG.
Guillaume Deglise, CEO of VINEXPO, says, “We expect Spiritual to become VINEXPO’s flagship for new cocktail experiences, product launches and global trends. It is a place where trends can be discovered and professionals can share their passion for spirits.”
Led by the Chinese spirit Baijiu, – consumption is forecast to hit 1.2 billion cases in 2018* – the top five world spirits sectors are vodka, brandy, rum and Scotch whisky. Liqueurs of all derivations are ranked sixth; fast-growing Bourbon is ranked seventh with gin, tequila, cognac/Armagnac in position eight to ten.
Located in Hall 3, spirits from all over the world are on display with Bourbon and Scotch notably well represented. Scott Laing from independent Glasgow bottler Hunter Laing says, “Sales of our premium single cask malts draw buyers from India, Japan and other Asian countries as well as the USA and Europe. That is why we are here.”
Heaven Hill, the sixth largest supplier of distilled spirits in the USA, says Bourbon is now very fashionable. Justin Ames, Director International Sales and Marketing, says Bourbon appeals equally to men and women. Bourbon’s mixability in cocktails is contributing to world demand. “It’s essential that we put our brands – they span a range from rum to tequila, vodka and liqueurs – before the international buyers who are here this week.”
Liqueurs, riding a wave inspired by the cocktail boom, are attracting new entrants and encouraging long-established liqueur brands to invest in promotion and product development says Dean van van Tuin ‘proud owner’ of Dutch liqueurs brand Wenneker. With a portfolio of 40 flavours – and more in the pipeline – Dean has just launched a spicy carrot liqueur which he says is a sign of where liqueur flavours are headed.
Flavoured and concept spirits are projected to enjoy enhanced growth in the next five years. Innovative French spirits producer ABK6 covers both sectors with a single-estate Cognac flavoured with honey from a Charente forest, and a single-estate organic vodka produced from wheat grown in its Camargue farm.
Elodie Abécassis, CEO, says, “We are launching the world’s first honey-flavoured Cognac to the international buyers and professionals who come to VINEXPO. We plan to promote the liqueur in the 30 markets where our single-estate Cognacs are sold.”
The company – it celebrates its tenth anniversary this year – is promoting the two spirits to the on and off trades. Bartenders and mixologist are showing interest as new ingredients in cocktails with special appeal to women and younger adults. “VINEXPO is the place to launch brands,” says Elodie.
Nemiroff vodka from the Ukraine has exhibited at VINEXPO since 2005. “We return to reach international operators,” says Yulia Shavirova, “and it’s good for the image of the brand to be seen here.”
Rum is another spirit undergoing a dramatic change in perception of quality. Andreina Bastardo, Communications Manager of Ron Diplomatico from Venezuela, is very optimistic about growth of the rum market. “Now that rum is seen as a quality spirit Europeans are drinking rum as they would drink premium spirits like Scotch whisky or Cognac. And, not least, classic rum cocktails are pushing sales.”
Ron de Venezuela is featured in The Blend, VINEXPO’s pop-up nightclub networking venue open exclusively to exhibitors and visitors to VINEXPO.
Forecast consumption of the top five most consumed spirits in the world by 2018 by volume in millions of cases is:
Spirit category 2014 2018 %growth
Baiju 1183.3 1215.3 2.7
Vodka 493.6 496.1 0.5
Brandy 187.2 194.5 3.9
Rum 143.1 132.2 -7.6
Scotch Whisky 89.0 96.8 8.8
* Source:VINEXPO data on World Consumption of Spirits by volume 2009 to 2018 commissioned from IWSR
Founded in 1981, Vinexpo has evolved into the world’s leading show for wine and spirits professionals and a partner for the wine and spirits industry worldwide. Vinexpo is held in Bordeaux in odd-numbered years; since 2006, Vinexpo Asia-Pacific has taken place in Hong Kong in even-numbered years and has become the key exhibition of the industry in Asia. Before each exhibition, Vinexpo commissions studies on industry-specific issues and presents the findings in conferences around the world. Since 1999, it has produced a world market study with a five-year outlook, as well as a variety of trend reports. For more information, visit www.vinexpo.c