With 2024 fast approaching, both Master of Malt and The Whisky Exchange have shared their predictions for the spirits category in 2024.

Looking ahead to the next year, both retailers are expecting vodka to continue on its upward trajectory, with The Whisky Exchange citing growth in the category. Similarly, Master of Malt has predicted growth in the vodka market, with spirits enthusiasts favouring brands with a strong focus on authenticity and provenance.

“There is a growing appreciation for vodka, because people are recognising its deep cultural and historical associations and because a wave of modern producers are creating spirits with flavour and personality that use unique methods or ingredients,” said Adam O’Connell, Master of Malt’s content marketing manager.

“As this part of the vodka market grows, there might be an increase in discussions about vodka’s subtleties and distinctions.”

Elsewhere, Master of Malt has suggested that whisky drinkers will begin to explore other aged spirits, particularly those with a lower price point such as Armagnac. The Whisky Exchange also mentioned Brandy and Cognac as increasingly popular options, with ticket sales for the retailer’s 2023 Cognac Show up 20% compared to the previous year. 

However, whisky still looks to stay in the spotlight with drinkers beginning to experiment beyond familiar regions, according to The Whisky Exchange, which noted France and New Zealand as promising whisky-producing countries. 

And while price point may become more important to some consumers, this might not be the case in the rum sector, with Master of Malt predicting big things for premium rum.

“We have seen a massive 53% volume and 43% value growth YoY in rum over £100 [as of November 2023], with the biggest growth being in the £100-125 retail bracket,” said buyer Lisa Halstead.

“The biggest decline was in the £80-100 bracket, which shows whilst the price of rum is increasing, the consumer is still continuing to purchase at the higher price.”

Looking at the spirits category as a whole, Master of Malt suggested that brands able to strike a balance between affordability and sustainability will see success with consumers. 

The Whisky Exchange also highlighted a change in consumer attitudes towards luxury purchasing, with more drinkers swapping excessive buying for fewer, higher quality options.