ICAEW.com works better with JavaScript enabled.

Alcoholic drinks industry

Research guide

Published: 11 Mar 2019 Updated: 19 Oct 2022 Update History

Exclusive content
Access to our exclusive resources is for specific groups of students, members and subscribers.

Use our industry guide to find key background information, market research, import and export guidelines, statistics, legislation, trade bodies and trade publications.

The Business & Industry Guides series is produced by the Library & Information Service for ICAEW members and ACA students.

We can compile tailored key players reports, mailing lists, market reports, benchmarking reports and industry news. Our enquiry team can also research other industry-specific information, such as taxation, for you. Call us on +44 (0)20 7920 8620 or email library@icaew.com.

Trends and forecasts

Coronavirus and the global drinks industry
Timeline from news and information provider just-drinks on the effect the COVID-19 pandemic is having on the global drinks industry.

Market research

Market research reports focusing on this business sector are available from a number of market research specialists. In most cases these reports are available to fee-paying subscribers or on a pay-as-you-go basis

Some free information is available from the following market research specialists, ranging from industry news to executive summaries of the reports.

A full listing of reference products and research reports for the alcoholic drinks sector from Euromonitor, with a range of global, country and company level reports. Each report provides a contents listing and a useful executive summary reporting on the key trends in each country report.

Business and industry research specialists offering reports on a wide range of sectors. Topics include spirit, wine, cider and beer production; alcoholic beverage wholesaling; off-licence alcoholic beverage retailers. Report snapshots, table of contents and a sample report are available.

Just-Drinks (Aroq)
Specialist market research portal from Aroq for the alcoholic and soft drinks sectors including industry news, analysis and research. Free access to news, jobs and some articles and features. The majority of the site requires registration.

A full listing of reports from market intelligence provider Mintel on the alcoholic drinks sector. Report summaries, table of contents and a sample report are available.

Further resources

The alcohol industry
Briefing from the Institute of Alcohol Studies providing an overview of the UK alcohol industry. Includes industry size, role in the economy, leading companies, industry consolidation and the business models and commercial strategies of alcohol companies. Published in October 2020.

Industry news

The Library can carry out industry news searches for ICAEW members and ACA students.

Statistics on the UK

British Beer and Pub Association

The British Beer and Pub Association sells an annual Statistical Handbook and provides some free industry statistics through its website including price of a pint and total annual beer sales.

Wine and Spirit Trade Association

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association provides facts and figures on the UK wine and spirit industry.

Society of Independent Brewers

The SIBA Craft Beer Report 2022, produced by the Society of Independent Brewers, includes in-depth analysis of the UK’s independent craft brewers, industry insight and information on consumer polling.

Office for National Statistics

The Annual Business Survey (ABS) from the Office for National Statistics collects financial information covering UK production, construction, distribution and service industries. Statistics available include:

  • number of enterprises;
  • total turnover;
  • approximate gross value added at basic prices;
  • total purchases of goods, materials and services;
  • total employment costs;
  • total net capital expenditure;
  • total net capital expenditure – acquisitions;
  • total net capital expenditure – disposals;
  • total stocks and work in progress – value at end of year;
  • total stocks and work in progress – value at beginning of year;
  • total stocks and work in progress – increase during year.

The dataset Non-financial business economy, UK: Sections A to S includes statistics for:

  • Wholesale of wine, beer, spirits and other alcoholic beverages (46.34/2)
    See Division 46: Wholesale trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles
  • Retail sale of beverages in specialised stores (47.25)
    See Division 47: Retail trade, except of motor vehicles and motorcycles

Statistics on Europe


Eurostat, the EU statistics hub, collates detailed Structural Business Statistics giving the latest figures for industry, construction, trade and services by sector and country. The indicators available include:

  • number of enterprises
  • turnover or gross premiums written
  • production value
  • value added at factor cost
  • gross operating surplus
  • wages and salaries
  • social security costs
  • gross investment in tangible goods
  • gross investment in land
  • gross investment in existing buildings and structures
  • gross investment in construction and alteration of buildings
  • gross investment in machinery and equipment
  • number of employees
  • number of persons employed per enterprise.

Statistics within the database are available for:

  • Distilling, rectifying and blending of spirits (C1101)
  • Manufacture of wine from grape (C1102)
  • Manufacture of cider and other fruit wines (C1103)
  • Manufacture of beer (C1105)

See the database section ‘SBS – industry and construction’.

Eurostat also compiles an annual survey of specialist statistics on the production of manufactured goods in the EU. Data within Prodcom Division 11 includes figures on the same categories.

Brewers of Europe

The Brewers of Europe regularly commissions studies into the economic impact of the brewing sector within the EU and other European countries. Data and analysis on the region and individual countries covers consumption, production, employment, import and export, duty and taxes. Recent reports include:

It also publishes annual Beer Statistics covering beer production, consumption, on-trade/off-trade, imports, exports, number of active breweries, number of active brewing companies, employment and excise duty revenues.


spiritsEUROPE compiles industry growth statistics on jobs, external trade, tax contribution, consumption, production and sales.

Statistics on Africa

South African Wine Industry Information and Systems (SAWIS)

SAWIS provides statistics on the domestic and export market, market predictions and a breakdown of monthly export figures by region.

Statistics on the Americas

Brewers Association

The Brewers Association provides a range of statistics on the US industry including craft beer sales and production by state, national beer sales and production plus number of US breweries

International Trade Administration (US)

The US International Trade Administration compile a wide range of trade statistics by country, state and region. The Key Consumer Goods Exports and Import Tables include figures for breweries, distilled spirits and wine.

Global statistics


The UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) collects and compiles industrial statistics known as INDSTAT, which give information on:

  • number of employees
  • number of establishments
  • output
  • value added
  • total wages and salaries.

Statistics by country are available for:

  • Distilling, rectifying and blending of spirits (1551)
  • Wines (1552)
  • Malt liquors and malt (1553)

UN Commodity Trade Statistics Database (Comtrade)

The UN compiles and publishes international import and export statistics in the Commodity Trade Statistics Database (Comtrade), giving figures for goods traded by value, quantity and weight for each country.

Statistics are available for:

  • Beverages, spirits and vinegar (22)

UN Industrial Commodity Statistics Database

The UN provides statistics on the quantity of goods produced by country in the Industrial Commodity Statistics Database.

Figures are available for:

  • Spirits, liqueurs and other spirituous beverages (24)
  • Wine and grape must (24)
  • Beer (24)



The annual Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES), published by the Office for National Statistics, includes total employee and employment estimates for different industries for Great Britain and the UK. Figures are broken down to show full-time/part-time and public/private splits. The dataset Industry – Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES): Table 2 includes statistics for:

  • Wholesale of wine, beer, spirits and other alcoholic beverages (46342)
  • Retail sale of beverages in specialised stores (47250)

The Office for National Statistics publication Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) includes average employment costs within this sector which can be found in Table 14. Average employment costs are provided for full-time employees, part-time employees and all employees.

The data includes average employment costs for:

  • food, drink and tobacco process operatives; and
  • packers, bottlers, canners and fillers.

Other regions

Please see individual country profile pages for links to sources of national statistics.



Gov.uk offers guidance and information on:

The Food Standards Agency provides information and guidance for wine growers and traders. Areas covered include:


The International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) maintains policy tables covering alcohol-related legislation across the world, including Beverage Alcohol Labeling Requirements by Country.

Import and export

The Trade Tariff is a useful Gov.uk database listing tax, duties and licenses for the import and export of goods between the UK and other countries. The database is searchable by product or commodity code and results can be filtered by date and country. Information also includes links to relevant conditions and regulations.

See import and export information for:

UK business guides

Atom Content Marketing guides

The Start Up Donut from Atom Content Marketing provides practical information on starting up and running a number of small business types. Guides cover a range of areas including market research, current trends, regulations, products and services, promotion and pricing. They include:

UK key players, ratios and trends

A range of reports on this sector are available to ICAEW members and ACA students via the Library.


Reports on this sector can be supplied by the Library to ICAEW members and ACA students.

UK benchmarking

The Library can supply benchmarking reports to ICAEW members and ACA students.

Trade bodies

Trade journals and publications

Trade journals, B2B magazines and specialist consumer magazines are another useful source of news and statistics.

Further resources

Drinks industry guide: British Library
British Library industry guides provide listings of resources for industry-specific information, including print directories and materials held by the British Library.

Contact the British Library Business and IP Centre for more information.

Further reading

To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to book loans. You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports by post or email through our document supply service.

Can't find what you're looking for?

The ICAEW Library can give you the right information from trustworthy, professional sources that aren't freely available online. Contact us for expert help with your enquiries and research.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information given in this Business & Industry Guide is correct. However, the content of websites changes frequently and users should satisfy themselves that the information they contain is suitable for the purposes for which they wish to use it. We would be grateful to receive notification of any broken links at library@icaew.com.


ICAEW accepts no responsibility for the content on any site to which a hypertext link from this site exists. The links are provided ‘as is’ with no warranty, express or implied, for the information provided within them. Please see the full copyright and disclaimer notice.