Rise of craft brands and premiumisation presents mixed opportunities for drinks market.

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Markets across the globe, almost universally, experienced significant trading-up across the majority of categories and across all price points over the last year, according to the recently released IWSR Global Trends Report 2015.

Growth of the aspirational middle class in developing economies, along with increasingly discerning consumers with greater disposable incomes in more mature markets, have been the driving force behind this trend.

On an international scale, premiumisation remains one of the leading influences on market trends, manifesting itself in a number of ways including the rising craft movement, which is becoming established in more and more countries and across a wider range of categories; the rising interest in malt whiskies; the huge swell in demand for Japanese whiskies; exploration of single-barrel and esoteric US whiskies; and super-premium gin’s explosion onto the world stage.

Although premiumisation has played into the hands of some larger international brands, such as Jack Daniel’s and Hendrick’s, many established brands face a mounting challenge from the rise of the craft sector and the overall fragmentation of the market.

As consumers seek to explore, experiment and discover ever-more unique offerings, international brands are struggling to compete at this same level. Additionally, in many markets the traditional middle is being squeezed as consumers either gravitate to buyers’ own-labels or trade up to higher price points.

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