Global alcohol consumption might have dropped last year, but gin’s popularity continues to soar. According to data published by the International Wines and Spirits Record (IWSR), the juniper-infused distillate experienced an eight-percent sales growth in 2018 — stronger than any other spirit.
The surge in popularity of pink gin was a “key growth driver” and helped the overall category hit sales of 72 million nine-liter cases globally, the report says. The IWSR forecasts gin to continue to grow and reach sales of 88 million nine-liter cases by 2023.
Sales in traditionally strong gin markets, such as the U.K. and the Philippines, thrived in 2018, while Brazil emerged as an unexpected hotspot. Sales more than doubled in the country last year thanks to the popularity of the gin and tonic in upscale bars in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
With seven percent sales growth in 2018, whiskey also performed well globally. Sales were driven by a strong Indian economy, with drinkers within the country trading up and spending more on premium brands. The IWSR forecasts the whiskey category to grow to almost 581 million nine-liter cases by 2023.
The popularity of tequila and mezcal among American drinkers drove a 5.5-percent sales bump for agave-based spirits. Meanwhile, vodka, flavored spirits (liqueurs), and cane spirits (particularly Brazilian cachaça) all experienced sales slumps.
The report revealed that global alcohol consumption was down two percent last year compared to 2017, though the IWSR forecasts a steady increase over the next five years. The value of the beverage industry, which currently sits at around $1 trillion, is also expected to grow.