Despite the challenges remaining to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic, once it ends and recovery begins there will be a second ‘Roaring 20s’, a leading analyst has predicted.
Speaking to The Spirits Business earlier this year as part of the World Spirits Report, Spiros Malandrakis, head of research – alcoholic drinks, Euromonitor International, said the industry should be under no illusion that it will take a long time to recover from the impact of Covid-19.
IWSR Drinks Market Analysis previously forecast that it could take until 2024 for the alcoholic beverage industry to return to pre-pandemic sales levels.
However, Malandrakis said he expects the trade to recover sooner than 2024, and forecasts a party era as revellers celebrate freedom following months of lockdowns to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Malandrakis said: “I wouldn’t say 2024, but I also definitely don’t think it will be 2021 – more likely, we will see recovery at the end of 2022, 2023.
“But the one thing I increasingly think is that with vaccines, we now have some capacity to start thinking ahead of the nightmare. The parallel I’ve been making is with the Spanish flu that ended in 1920; there were two to three major waves, lives were decimated.
“In my mind, it’s not a coincidence sociologically that in the months and years that followed, we had years of cabaret culture in Berlin, one of the most hedonistic eras, the whole ‘Great Gatsby’ era. All around the planet, people woke up, got out of bunkers, and had the best time of their lives for 10 years.
“This is going to be a Game of Thrones winter, we cannot brush that away. Craft [spirits] will be decimated, the on-trade will be decimated, there will be many casualties.
“But I increasingly think we might see significant bounce back, which, regardless of the economy, in terms of volume growth, new on-trade establishment ideas, after all of this we will see something similar to the 1920s, rather than just a revisit to 2019. I really think we will see another ‘Roaring 20s’.”
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Author: Melita Kiely