If the import of strong drinks in 2022 still sank in general, then the situation with wine is the opposite.
Photo: Nikolai OBEREMCHENKO
Last year, according to spring and summer forecasts, should have turned many of us into teetotalers. Or in admirers of purely domestic drinks. Stocks of many types of imported alcohol, such as American and Scotch whiskies, European sparkling wines, and cognac, were due to run out in the fall.
But here are the latest statistics: what kind of drinks the Russians prepared for the New Year. At the top, according to Price.ru analysts, are prosecco (for two weeks of New Year, demand increased by 255%), lambrusco (plus 278%)… This despite the fact that we they offered to send us off to the sparkling Italian. wines in March.
So let’s raise our glasses to…
No, let’s first understand what is happening and what awaits lovers of what is in glasses in 2023.
Because of him, they suffered more. Not because of vodka, of course, there is enough of it in Russia for every taste and budget. But some citizens, having traveled to all kinds of Europe and America, became addicted to local drinks. Now serve them whiskey (and preferably bourbon) and all kinds of gins and rums. And many eminent producers of these drinks announced their withdrawal from Russia.
Experts say that Russian gin is also quite good, and its production is now developing at a rapid pace. Same with whiskey. The production of alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content of more than 25% (they only include gin and whiskey) has grown by more than 40% during the year in Russia.
One of the largest elite domestic alcohol purveyors reports record 2022 sales of some of its Russian-produced gin and rum brands (sales of one type of rum increased by as much as 323%). But he immediately reports an increase in purchases of Dominican rum, and especially French rum (more than 160%). Have you already decided to switch to Indian alcohol?
However, domestic whiskey, gin and rum are very conditional. They are made mainly from foreign distillates, which are brought… yes, everything is from there. So, for the production of whiskey – from the same Scotland, only in more crooked ways, and often from other producers.
And how to understand it?
– Yes, understand. Import substitution processes – oh, sorry, the replacement of one import by another – took place, and in the second half of 2022 everything more or less improved, – Vadim Drobiz, head of the Research Center on Federal and Regional Markets of alcohol, explained to KP.RU. – Yes, they don’t bring us Clicquot anymore. But they offer another champagne, also French. Same with other drinks. Including the whiskey being drunk. In a word, each group of the population will continue to have its own alcohol. No one will be teetotal because of the sanctions.
If the import of spirits in 2022 still sank in general, then the situation with wine is the opposite. The second half of the year was interesting. In August-October, the EU countries decided to make up for lost time in the spring and early summer, increasing the supply of wine to Russia by more than 40% compared to the same months in 2021. As they realized at the time, the “new logistics”.
So, the forecasts about the New Year without prosecco and only with Russian champagne did not come true. (I’m writing this while looking at an unfinished bottle of Spanish wine in the fridge and a couple of bottles of prosecco given away for the New Year. It’s ridiculous to say: two or three years ago, Russian sparkling wine was given away more often.)
The production of national wine, however, also increased, sparkling, by a quarter (see “Only numbers”).
– We already have an overproduction of wine, – says Vadim Drobiz. – Nobody understood anything, the manufacturers shoveled more just in case… Why doesn’t import substitution work? Yes, because the middle class is now sitting in Russia, but they still drink what they used to. This also stimulates imports.
Well, that is, those citizens who used to drink Spanish wine in Spain now drink it at their dacha near Moscow. Homesick, you know.
Foam lovers also had to worry. Beer imports in 2022 decreased by more than a third. Firstly, deliveries from Germany, Belgium and the Czech Republic plunged. And here it was not without replacing one import with another, for example, with less popular brands from the same Czech Republic. But, according to NielsenIQ, if in January it was possible to buy 15 different imported drinks in our store in September, then in September – 9. But the number of domestic brands increased.
With them, however, it is not easy either. At the beginning of 2022, Russian beer production was in fact split between three international players: AB InBev Efes (a joint venture between Belgian AB InBev and Turkish Anadolu Efes, more than a third of Russian production), Carlsberg Group ( our property Baltika) and Heineken. Carlsberg and Heineken announced in the spring that they would stop investing in Russia.
As clear from official data, beer production in Russia in January-September 2022 (more recent data is not yet available) increased by 2.4%, while sales decreased by 4.2%.
– Due to the pressure of the sanctions, all the actors faced shortages and increased prices of raw materials, packaging, rupture and restructuring of logistics chains, limited supplies of imported products, etc. Sales volumes on the market fell, – said “KP” acting. President of AB InBev Efes, who remained in Russia, Oraz Durdyev. – The reduction in consumption occurred in a context of inflation and rising prices, decreased purchasing power. Such processes have affected the entire market.
For this reason, the company has already launched the production of cider (its consumption in Russia is growing), and in 2023 it plans to also dedicate itself to energy drinks. Well, and import substitution – further localization of its beer production.
Will the prices change?
According to Vadim Drobiz’s forecasts, 2023 on our alcohol market should be the year when “everything settles in the new conditions.” No further price increases can be expected beyond those associated with the increase in excise duties on alcohol and the new minimum price for various types of alcohol established from January 1 (within 7-8% for alcohol strong). Everything that could already have risen in price in 2022.
At the same time, according to the expert, new batches of imported alcohol, alternatives to defunct brands, are imported at more affordable prices than those at which remnants of products of defunct brands from Russia can now be found on the shelves. Or for which the goods from the “refuges” arrive through parallel imports.
This is how alcohol production increased in Russia in 2022
2022, million liters Change to 2021, %
Wine products 651 610 +8.1%
– sparkling wines and champagne 161.8 +25.2%
– wine 326.9 +9.7%
– liqueur wine 10.8 +442%
Vodka 840.5 +3.9%
Cognac 88.2 +10.5%
Stronger drinks than 25% (whisky, gin, calvados, etc.) 138.9 +41.8%
Other spirits above 9% (this includes rum and brandy) 79.5 +73%
All alcoholic products (except beer, cider and mead) 1,995 +9.8%
…plus beer, cider and mead
1-3 square meters 2022, thousand liters Change to Q1-Q3 2021
Beer 5,552 +2.4%
Beer drinks 795.9 +7.5%
Cider, poiret, mead 72.2 +16.9%
According to Rosalkogolregulirovanie.
DEGREE IS GROWING
Average prices in Russia in rubles for 0.5 l
2020 2021 2022 (November)
Vodka 315 321 340
National sparkling wine 183 185 218
Table wine 221 237 263
Domestic cognac 641 643 670
According to Rostat.