Photo: Dmitri Feoktistov / TASS
Connoisseurs of expensive imported alcohol last year were not enviable. Manufacturers of well-known brands of spirits – whiskey, gins, etc. – one after another announced the suspension of official deliveries of their goods to Russia. However, the Russians did not have to fill this sad news with bitterness. In response to the sanctions, domestic producers pledged to supply their own, expensive, to the market. Analysts of the Federal Service for Alcohol Market Regulation have calculated that alcohol production in Russia has increased by almost 10% over the year, and liqueur wines – as much as 5.5 times!
— In 2022, we observe an increase in legal sales of alcoholic beverages, — noted in Rosalkogolregulirovanie. – In addition to an increase in sales of all alcohol volumes by 3.4% in 11 months, production also shows growth – by 10.8%.
FIGHT AGAINST FALSE IMPORT SUBSTITUTION PLUS
Igor Kosarev, president of the Union of Producers of Alcoholic Products, mentions several reasons for the increase in production.
– First of all, it is the fight against the illegal market, which was carried out successfully last year, – says Igor Kosarev. – Less and less moonshine is produced. It was pushed back with the help of state strategies. In particular, bills were approved to limit the circulation of methanol.
Another reason, according to Igor Kosarev, is the localization of production (also known as import substitution). After the departure of many foreign companies, Russia increased the production of its own whiskey, gin, etc.
The political situation also played a role. Last year, Russians began to travel abroad less frequently. And what’s a trip abroad without hitting duty-free shops or gatherings with a bottle of something local? So instead of trying Greek ouzo and Montenegrin rakia, the Russians had to support their alcoholic producer.
The words of the expert confirm the numbers. For example, according to the analytical group NielsenIQ, 20 new brands of Russian whiskey have appeared since the beginning of this year. It turned out that they are not difficult to produce. The producers locally raise the distillate brought from Scotland. Imported whiskey in 2021 in the total consumption of the drink was 85%, and now it is 40-45%. That is, once again, the truth known to all was confirmed: a holy place is never empty. And if some multinational global companies refuse to work with Russia, then instead of their products there will be another on the shelves.
– Gin produced in Russia has already displaced foreign brands from the top ranks of the sales ranking. The share of domestic wines, spirits is growing, Russian-made rums and calvados are appearing, – says Dmitry Isachenkov, Director of Development of Ladoga.
How the production of our alcohol grew in 2022
Photo: Alexey STEFANOV
WE ARE BEHIND IN WINE
Now about the champions – liqueur wines. In case someone does not know, these are very concentrated drinks of 12-16% and with a high sugar content (around 20-22%). These are Madeira, sherry, vermouth, etc.
“The production of liqueur wines has increased many times, because before we had few of them,” says Vadim Drobiz, director of the Research Center for Federal and Regional Alcohol Markets. – And now, due to import restrictions, we produce more. Hence the growth. But be that as it may, we have not experienced significant import substitution yet. Until now, only Russian hard alcohol has been able to shake the position of imports. We are still behind in terms of wine.