Spirits and liqueur market in the UK - Statistics & Facts

A spirit or hard liquor is an alcoholic beverage that is produced by distilling already fermented plant products such as grains. The total UK spirits industry generated 9.3 billion British pounds worth of revenue in the UK in 2019. Quarterly revenues generated with spirits show highs during the last quarter of the year, which coincides with Christmas and regular, although less pronounced, dips during the first quarter.

Inustry overview

Industry sales amounted to 4.5 billion British pounds, while consumer spending reached 7.6 billion British pounds in 2020. The number of spirits enterprises grew to 688 in 2019. About six million hectoliters of spirits were produced that same year.


Spirits and liqueurs (which do contain additives such as sugar as sweetener) had a combined export value of 4.9 billion British pounds and an import value of 754 million British pounds in 2020. Exports saw a significant decline due to Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic. The leading country of origin for spirits imported to the UK in 2020 was Italy, with 125.7 million British pounds worth of imports, while the leading destination for exports of spirits was the U.S.


Liqueurs reach a much wider audience than spirits. The brand most popular among UK consumers was Jägermeister. The most popular spirit was Jose Cuervo Tequila, which reached less than a third of the consumers that Jägermeister reached. Tequila is made from the blue agave plant. Considering at home and out of home consumption, on average, a person buys 64 milliliters of spirits per week in the UK.


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