Russians switch from vodka to whiskey – sociologists

Shelf of Alcoholic Beverages with Red and White Tape Across It

(Interfax – MOSCOW, July 24, 2013) The number of whiskey fans in Russia is growing and the percentage of young people among whiskey consumers is on the rise as well, sociologists said.

Consumption of whiskey increased in the first quarter of this year although a decline had been predicted, Romir Holding experts told Interfax on Wednesday. The opinion was based on Romir Household Panel data.

The number of households buying whiskey dropped from 30% in late 2012 to 25% in the first quarter of 2013, while an increase was registered in the frequency of purchases (from 1.7 to 1.9 times), the quantity of whiskey bottles per purchase (from 2.2 to 2.5) and the volume in liters (from 1.2 to 1.5). An average receipt per buyer grew from 1,310 rubles to 1,415.

The share of younger whiskey buyers (18 to 25 years) grew by 5% in the first quarter, the sociologists said.

A surge in vodka prices on January 1, 2013, and the wish to buy premium alcohol, such as whiskey, brandy, tequila and rum, are possible explanations, Romir experts said.

“Many customers are considering a replacement for vodka and choosing imported beverages. The slightly higher price of whiskey does not seem to bother Russians; incomes are growing and tastes are developing and diversifying,” Romir said.

Romir Household Panel is based on consumption data of 10,000 Russians representing consumer behavior in cities with populations of 100,000 or more. Panel participants scan bar codes of all goods they bring home. The scan data is transmitted to the Panel’s online database.