The infographics below are derived from data contained in
BMC's DrinkTell™ Database with Market Forecasts


Over the past few weeks we've been posting a lot of new data on wine and spirits depletions in DrinkTell™. One of the areas many of the database's users will be looking at are changes in the forecasts. One of the most interesting and potential useful aspects of this is spotting the anomalies—calling out forecasts you didn't necessarily expect—or perhaps you did and wanted to see if someone else's forecast confirmed your suspicions.

Anomalies like these are like all puzzles. Sometimes we take them seriously; sometimes not so much. Remember, President Trump played swami and forecast GDP would grow 4%. Economists said no, 1.7% to 2.5%. Most acolytes of the dismal science said there were no production or demand factors to rationally predict more.

Researchers, of course, aren't either fortune tellers or politicians. In plotting the future, they stick to the known knowns. They may start with ongoing trends in demographics and consumer tastes. But then they move to other factors, including early, late, or non-existent agricultural crops; barrel shortages and glass shortages; currency fluctuations and politically instability.

If the numbers are doing their job, they reflect when one or more of these disrupters changes the pattern in either short of longer term trends. Often there's nothing. If you follow the line of a plodder like Canadian Whisky, you don't see too much-marginal shrinkage of overall depletions year after year. The story there is and has been that some brands (one really) have been doing better, the others worse.

Top Five Spirits Growth Categories
YOY FY 2016 over 2015

Total spirits volume grew about 2% last year. The five categories that grew the most as a % of year earlier volume were Brandy and Cognac, Irish Whiskey, Straight American Whiskey, Tequila/Mezcal, and Vodka.

Plunging back into our DrinkTell™ tables we extracted YOY volume growth forecasts for four of the five leading percentage growth categories for 2016 over 2015. We dropped Vodka, spotting no anomalies in this giant category. We substituted Cordials and Liqueurs. (You're forgiven if you can't see the 2016 over 2015 change for Cordials and Liqueurs.) It's -0.04%.

Volume Growth for Selected Spirits
With 2017-2020 Forecasts

Cordials and Liqueurs is a big category which has enjoyed high tides of popularity and lows of depression when fashions changed and the waves enthusiasm flowed out. Remember the epidemic of cordial shooters in the mid-nineties? Hopefully, you can see today's anomalies in this and the other categories. There isn't room to explain them in this column. But, if you're stumped or just want to talk about them, give us a call.

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