According to a market research, the Hungarian population spends more than 80 billion annually on spirits, the retail sales of bitters are even better than that of vodka and pálinka, reports

According to the public opinion, Hungarians do not disdain alcohol. On’s request, Nielsen confirmed this presumption with data. The overall retail turnover of the 9 kinds of spirits examined by the market researcher exceeded 80 billion HUF between the last September and this August. It is not accidental that many families’ alcoholic drink selection includes Becherovka, Hubertus, Jagermeister or Zwack Unicum, since in the value distribution of spirits bitters are in the lead (26%), overtaking vodka (25%) and pálinka (17%).

In the scrutinised time period the spirits’ popularity grew the most immensely, the income of their sales exceeded 21 billion HUF. Compared to the similar time period of the previous year this is a 12% increase, between September 2015 and August 2016 the population spent 19 billion HUF on spirits. The sales rate of this product is remarkable regarding the quantity as well, since

Hungarians bought more than 44 thousand hectolitres of these alcoholic drinks, which means a 7% increase in the annual comparison.

Distribution of spirit sales (September 2016-August 2017)

Bitters – 26%

Vodka – 25%

Pálinka – 17%

Whisky – 13%

Liqueur – 7%

Brandy – 6%


Concerning the dispersion according to the type of the shops, we can see that spirits sell best still in hypermarkets more than 2500 square meters big. 36% of sales were undertaken in these malls until this August. In the annual comparison, at the same time, the other extreme, shops under 50 square meters, show the biggest rise, their share grew from 17% to 21%. The 0.5 liter pack is the most popular during the year, but near Christmas time, demand shifts towards the 0.75 liter bottles. The proportion of manufacturers’ brands in the category is unbroken, 91%, the commercial brands must settle for the remaining 9%.

According to a survey conducted by WHO, the annual alcohol consumption per head is 12.3 liters, similar to the Polish, Slovakian, Lithuanian, and British data. Anyway, the financial indicators of companies making spirits in Hungary do not reveal that the industry is living its hay day. Data published by Opten reveals that last year 409 spirit maker companies operated in Hungary, on average 4 out of 5 of them handed in financial reports. These show that

hardly half of them produce profit.

According to the company information provider service, the overall income of the affected companies last year was only 48.80 billion HUF, with a 30.8% drop. This low traffic has no precedent in the last decade. Sales were never below 60 billion HUF in the last ten years. Moreover, in 2009, one year after the outbreak of the world economic crisis, the income peaked at 76.38 billion HUF, as the signs show, people drowned their sorrows in alcohol.

Featured Image: Wikicommons by Ralf Roletschek 


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