After we were able to draw a quite positive picture last year after the completion of the Corona measures, this trend has continued. This conclusion can be drawn from the responses of decision-makers from various industry players to the large BAR NEWS partner survey.
In 2022, 50 percent of respondents were satisfied, and another 25 percent were very satisfied, with regard to the food service industry. In wholesale, 60 percent were satisfied and 40 percent very satisfied. In retail, on the other hand, one-third of respondents were not satisfied, while the rest were satisfied to very satisfied. For this year, more than half of the respondents again expect business to improve.
A positive trend was observed in the assessment of the Christmas and end-of-year business, which is particularly important for the spirits industry. Compared with the same period of the previous year, more than 40 percent reported a better business performance, while the remainder finished roughly the same as in the previous year.
Market assessment by spirits categories
The respondents forecast strong market growth in the categories of non-alcoholic distillates. Increasing growth is expected in the categories tequila, bitter/vermouth and, as before, the Swiss products gin and whisky. Growth, albeit somewhat lower, is expected in the gin, rum and whisky categories.
Vodka is expected to increase again this year for the first time. The Swiss fruit brandy and absinthe categories were rated as stable, with a slight downward trend. The spirits categories grappa, brandy (cognac, armagnac, etc.) are expected by respondents to show a clear decline.
Improved mood in the catering industry
It was foreseeable that the catering sector for the beverage industry in 2022 has again caused an upswing and positive mood. The majority of respondents were also satisfied as far as the wholesale (cash and carry) market was concerned. There was less satisfaction, after the positive results last year, with the results in the retail trade.
This is not surprising when one has observed how the retail trade has profited strongly in the Corona period, especially in the beverage sector. The respondents' outlook for this year is as follows: Restaurant > 70 percent good to very good, retail 50 percent good to very good, 50 percent less good, and in wholesale 90 percent good. The majority of end consumers (> 80 percent) are positive.
In the area of opportunity assessment, a positive consumer mood can be discerned above all. People are going out more and enjoying themselves more consciously. There is also still purchasing power in the medium- and higher-priced indulgence segment. Hopes are pinned in particular on rising tourist flows from abroad. In terms of risk assessment, it is noticeable that price increases and pressure on margins are the main concerns here.
But the shortage of personnel in the catering industry will also have an impact. Likewise, the repayment obligation of Corona loans could lead to difficult situations. As a result of the continued increase in going out, sales in the retail sector will continue to decline. Exchange rates pose particular challenges for those producers who sell part of their production abroad.
Nevertheless, some of the companies surveyed want to open up new markets outside Switzerland in the future. Around 60 percent of the companies surveyed were confronted with parallel or gray imports.
Optimistic basic mood
An optimistic basic mood is evident when asked about the expected changes in sales for the coming year. Around 40 percent of respondents expect sales to increase by up to 5 percent, while 20 percent of respondents even anticipate an increase in sales of up to 10 percent. In addition to the recovery in the catering industry, the planned launches of new products and also segment expansions in the portfolio at many companies should also ensure good forecasts.