Monday, 20 February 2017
20.2.17 Optimism in the Brandy Sector
Brandy has been in worldwide decline for some time. In Spain, the fact that it is no longer included in the “shopping basket” of the consumer price index demonstrates its falling importance in consumer preference. Fifty years ago Brandy de Jerez had 50% of the Spanish market. Declining per capita consumption of alcohol along with rising production costs and fiscal pressure explain the unease of recent years in the Jerez Brandy industry which has led to the conversion of many Solera brandies into cheaper Bebidas Espirtuosas and a drop to virtually nothing in promotional investment by the Consejo Regulador.
Things could be about to change however; worldwide, brandy is growing again. The recent purchases of the old Domecq and Garvey by Andrew Tan’s Emperador represent huge investment and faith in the sector inspiring some to predict that brandy could be the next fashionable drink after the gin and tonic boom both at home and abroad. According to Bosco Torremocha, general director of the Spanish federation of spirit drinks (FEBE), although all fashionable drinks run the risk of falling out of fashion again, brandy in general, and Brandy de Jerez in particular, with its quality and tradition, is growing again and this provides an opportunity.
After an era dominated by novelty, innovation and technology there is a move back to the roots, to the real thing, which will attract consumer interest. FEBE is convinced that it will not be long before the rewards for this will be reaped. Evaristo Babé, president of the Consejo Regulador Brandy de Jerez, feels the same saying that the world of spirits moves in cycles which repeat themselves and this happens in Spain just as much as the rest of the world. For a while a particular drink becomes the height of fashion and ends up being the drink of a generation - until the next one comes along - not out of some whim, but because of changes in lifestyle and consumer habits.