The alcohol industry – An overview 2021

The alcohol industry is a challenging business. The industry is highly consolidated and has high barriers to entry for smaller market players. Whether you’re in the beer, wine, or spirits business, there are many current trends that pose huge challenges as we enter 2021.

Tradition is at the very heart of how alcohol drinks are distributed and marketed. While the vast majority of industries are succeeding online to reach broader markets, the alcohol industry is still attempting to carve out a unique presence, however online sales have increased enormously.

The outbreak of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has acted as a massive restraint on the alcoholic beverages market in 2020 as supply chains were disrupted due to trade restrictions and consumption declined due to lockdowns imposed by governments globally. However, the alcohol industry is expected to recover from the shock during the forecast period.

Alcohol has been an enjoyable part of social life and celebrations around the world for many years. From casual social outings to celebratory events, alcohol is frequently part of our lives. The economic impact is often forgotten, but alcohol plays an enormous role in our economy.

About 446 billion liters of beer, wine, and spirits are consumed every year around the world. Beer is the most important and largest segment in the global alcoholic drinks market.  This segment is quite concentrated, with the top 5 players accounting for roughly 60% of global volume. Beer is the most consumed alcoholic drink across the globe and contains around 4-7% of total alcohol sales. The global consumption of wine is second place.

Consumption in the alcohol industry in each country varies greatly and is affected by the laws, culture and traditions. According to the latest European health report from the World Health Organization, people in the European Union consume more alcohol than in any other part of the world, drinking an average of 8.71 liters of pure alcohol, per person a year. 

The global spirits market is expected to grow from $ 499.74 billion in 2020 to $ 546.15 billion in 2021 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.3%. The growth in the alcohol industry is primarily due to companies reorganizing their operations and recovering from the impact of COVID-19, which had previously led to restrictive containment measures involving social distancing, remote work, and business closures that resulted in operational challenges. These market is expected to reach $735.83 billion in 2025 at a CAGR of 8%.

Promoting your brand of alcohol doesn’t require that you completely reinvent something new. In reality, the best approach is often to go exactly where people are already enjoying alcoholic products. Many alcohol brands find incredibly receptive customers at music festivals, exhibitions  and fair trades. These brands understand how to keep their position in the minds of customers by adding to an attendee’s fun experience. It leaves an impression that lasts.

We made a list of the most important fair trades in the world of the beverage industry, where you can find great opportunities to start or to expand your business.

10 international fairs in the alcohol industry.

  1. Foodex Japan is Asia’s No.1 professional trade show for Food & Beverage with almost 3 000 exhibitors from 80 countries. Over 77 000 professional visitors attended FOODEX 2015, including over 7 000 from Korea, Taiwan, China, Thailand, and Hong Kong. The event is taking place  in Tokyo, Japan, March 8−11. 2022. More information:
  2. Bar Convent (Berlin, Germany, October 8−10) has grown into one of the leading international trade fairs for the bar and beverages industry. Bar owners, bartenders, distributors and manufacturers from around 80 countries come to BCB in Berlin every year to make new contacts, learn about product innovations and attend seminars. The BCB has expanded its global network with further BCB shows in the USA and Brazil.Each year the «Who’s Who» of this industry’s German and European representatives gather in Berlin to make new contacts, find out about new product innovations and attend seminars to deepen their expertise. More information:
  3. Rum Renaissance Festival (Miami, USA, April 22−23) is presenting the largest rum festival in the World — attracting rum experts, professionals and enthusiasts from more than 30 countries. More information:
  4. Alimentaria  in Barcelona is one of the largest trade shows for food and beverages, manages more than 150 000 m2 of net exhibition space, 5 000 exhibitors and 200 000 buyers. It attracts the largest manufacturers and suppliers in the industry. As a trade fair it is primarily aimed at decision makers from diverse sectors of the food industry. For visitors it is an excellent opportunity to share with colleagues and make new business contacts. The next event will be held on the 4-7 of April 2022. More information:
  5. WSWA (Las Vegas, USA, April 11— 14.2022) is the largest gathering of America’s wine and spirits distributors, as well as suppliers from around the world who seek to enter or grow their brands in the USA marketplace. More information:
  6. Imbibe Live (London, UK, September  13−14. 2021) is the UK’s leading innovative and interactive B2B annual exhibition focused on the complete range of on-trade drinks, from spirits, beers and ciders, to cocktails, tea, coffee, waters and other associated products. Last year edition welcomed almost 12 000 drinks professionals. More information:
  7. The International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show (IBWSS) will give supermarkets, restaurants, retailers, wineries, importers, distilleries and other buyers a premier international platform to source bulk wine, bulk spirits and meet private label suppliers from all over the world. IBWSS buyers are other wineries and distilleries looking to meet up their demand, importers, retailers and distributors looking for private label programs and negociants who are looking to meet the growers and producers. Over the course of two days leading figures from the global  wine industry will share their advice, insights and experiences on how bulk wine and spirits can help grow your private label and branded product business. The next event will be held on November 20-21.2021 in San Francisco, USA. More information:
  8. Fein & Wein Tasting Festival Wiesbaden offers to taste: wine, secco, brandies, gin, liquor, whiskey, cheese, ham, salami, chocolates, accessories and much more. Exhibitors from the Fein, Wein & Spirits Wiesbaden will also benefit from the synergy effects of our versatile events and will become part of the growing design and enjoyment community in a strong metropolitan area. It is a great opportunity to go to the market of the beverage industry. The Fein & Wein Tasting Festival will take place on 2 days from 19. June to 20. June 2021 in Wiesbaden. More information:
  9. USA Trade Tasting (USATT) is the largest industry meeting place for professionals of viticulture, production, and trade. Each year, this wine and spirits industry trade show records 100+ exhibitors and 2000+ buyers attending, connecting, learning and growing their business. Wine, Beer and Spirits suppliers who are looking to grow their distribution in the USA, it is the perfect event for you to connect with buyers of the USA. It is a great opportunity to have access to a platform to introduce your brands to thousands of interested buyers.The United States Trade Tasting takes place for the 5th time during 2 days from  09.08.2021 to 10.08.2021 in New York City. More information:
  10. EXETER is the South West’s ‘super show’ for all those with an interest in speciality foods and quality drinks, profitable catering and inspired hospitality. The Source trade show brings together two established trade events; the Source & Taste of the West Trade Show and the Expowest Westcountry catering trade show. It combines the best of both – this is a ‘super show’ where you get extra helpings of fresh inspiration and exciting opportunities. Identify new trends, network, meet new and existing suppliers, and be inspired by the passion and enthusiasm they have for their products. The show will have stands for more than 200 exhibitors, ready to attract more than 2,000 trade buyers. Trade Show will take place on 2 days from Tuesday, 08. June to Wednesday, 09. June 2021 in Exeter, UK. More information:

For other topics related to business and international trade we leave you our blog #beinternational

Written by: Natalja Lainjarv

Optimized by: Diana Nathalie Moreno

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