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Spain alcoholic drinks market: High unemployment levels affecting industry sales
Alcoholic Drinks in Spain - a new market research report on 2014-04-03 05:37:03
The recession has spread widely throughout European markets and has especially affected certain countries, such as Spain. With unemployment levels sky high and large segments of the population facing critical financial conditions, private consumption continued to be severely affected. In a context of frugal consumption patterns and austerity, private label and economy products seem to be among the few winners in this area.

The downward trend in consumption and consumers increasingly seeking to save – cutting down on expenses, particularly on leisure activities – translated into a consumption transfer from the on-trade to the off-trade channel. Considering that Spain has a strong bar tradition and horeca is the most important channel for alcoholic drinks in value terms, the negative effects of the recession have been very significant, reflected in the number of bars that have closed since the beginning of the economic downturn.

The Spanish alcoholic drinks category also experienced a shift in terms of imports and exports. The need for foreign products in order to supply the needs of Spaniards is dropping, in line with decreasing consumption and the rise of localism and regional manufacturers. At the same time, the need to find new niches and growth opportunities among Spanish alcoholic drinks companies led to a strong commitment to exports, including through merger and acquisition activity and subsidiaries operated overseas.

Alcoholic drinks witnessed a strong polarisation of demand during 2012. On the one hand there was an indulgence trend among consumers, which boosted premium products within gin, rum and sparkling wine, while pushing the cocktail fad. On the other hand, a more rational and less compulsive consumer worried about declining incomes boosted economy categories and private label products, causing an increase in the volume share of the leading retailers in the country, which continue to reduce reserved space in shelves for branded companies.

A preference for local and regional products, increasing concern with sustainability matters and a willingness to follow healthy patterns was transferred into the appearance of local projects and especially craft producers. The result has been an increasing number of craft manufacturers emerging during 2012 and their inclusion into retail channels, especially within the categories of beers and spirits. The reason behind this is the perception of these producers as being less harmful to the environment and the fact that purchasing these products contributes to developing local and regional economies.

Alcoholic drinks is not set to return to growth until 2016. Over the forecast period sales will post a marginal decline in volume terms. Unit prices will follow this downward trend and the category is set for a period of consolidation as players struggle for survival.

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