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White Spirits: Grey Prospects and Golden Opportunities

Global white spirits market: Vodka accounts for 87% industry volume

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2014-02-27 00:00:04 - White Spirits: Grey Prospects and Golden Opportunities - a new market research report on

The global white spirits market is merely an arbitrary pooling together of subsectors sharing some commonalities and more than a few major differences on the basis of the drinks primary colours. Within that context, the total of vodka alongside Dutch and English gins did witness a relative resurgence in 2011 and remains positive in 2012. However, taking into consideration the overall categorys breakdown, it becomes clear that it is vodkas performance that plays the most decisive role in determining white spirits fortunes.

With vodka accounting for 87% of the volumes commanded by the entire white spirits category and both English and Dutch gins only accounting for only 7% each, the importance of the ubiquitous tipples sales in its key Eastern European



bastion is self-explanatory. In other words, a slowdown of the chronic declines experienced by vodka in its overly mature Eastern European stronghold is the main driver behind the overall categorys resurgence post the Great Recession.

Key Headlines

White spirits are still in the grip of the ubiquitous vodka category, while showcasing signs of subdued yet healthy resurgence

Dutch gin retains its positive trajectory but the curve is gradually softening due to the categorys lack of aspirational attributes and outdated image. Innovation activities are mostly focusing on flavour sophistication and lower abv variants in an attempt to increase penetration rates in younger audiences.

While top line volume growth remains largely uninspiring, the wave of launches by micro-distillers in the US and the UK and the first signs of mainstream brands embracing flavour sophistication point to cautious optimism

While English gin and vodka are highly fragmented - with the nascent craft segment fuelling innovation and experimentation - Dutch gin is highly consolidated and lacking radical ideas and aspirational credentials.

Vodkas casual and mixable character has secured the category a solid presence in most countries. This has, in turn, raised the opportunities beyond its sinking Eastern European flagship. English and especially Dutch gin should follow the same path sooner rather than later.

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Mike King
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