Wiki Spanish Food editorial team
The spirit sector sells around 200 million liters per year in Spain, worth approximately 7 billion euros. This accounts for around 0.12% of Spanish GDP.
Consumption patterns in Spain are different from other European countries, especially in central and northern Europe, since consumption in Spain is mainly a social activity: 70% takes place in the Hospitality and Foodservice channel (HoReCa), according to the Spanish Federation of Spirits (FEBE).
Moreover, and according to the study "Trends in alcoholic beverage consumption outside of the home", by consulting company Kantar Worldpanel, almost one-fourth of spending on beverages (with and without alcohol) outside of the home in Spain went towards beverages with a high alcohol content in 2014. In total, average spending was 114 euros in the year, 6 euros less than the previous year. Bars, nightclubs and pubs are the most common places for drinking and account for 75% of consumption of these types of drinks.
Spending by gender differs, since men spend 60% more than women (138 euros compared with 86 euros) and are more frequent consumers (15 drinks per year vs. 9). Moreover, the types of beverages consumed are different: while men prefer gin, rum and whiskey, women tend to choose rum, vermouth and cocktails.
Specifically, a 50-year-old male living in northern Spain is the profile that consumes the most spirits, spending an average of 358 euros per year. Women between 18 and 34 years old who live in the metropolitan areas of Madrid and Barcelona and on Spain's east coast consume the least.
"Although there are very noticeable differences between consumption by men and women and according to ages, the factor that truly determines what we drink is the occasion: when and with whom", says Edurne Uranga, Director of the Out of Home division at Kantar Worldpanel, the consulting company that says that the time of day and people we're with are the main factors when choosing the alcoholic beverages we consume.
According to Kantar Worldpanel, the main occasions when people drink spirits are as follows:
- The most popular time for beverages with a high alcohol content is at night on the weekend and with friends, which accounts for 20% of the total. On the Mediterranean coast, the preferred nighttime drink is gin and tonic; in Andalusia, it's rum and Coke, and in Madrid it's whiskey and Coke.
- Another popular time for drinking is mid-morning on Sundays with the family, known as the aperitif, of which there are almost 6 million opportunities each year. Vermouth is the clear leader, competing with beer in central Spain and with wine in the north.
- Consumption of these types of drinks with our significant others accounts for almost 8% of the total, and the most popular beverages are gin and tonic and cocktails such as Caipirinha and Mojito.
- After-work drinking is increasingly common and a very popular beverage is whiskey neat or on the rocks, although beer generally accounts for 86% of total consumption at these types of events.