The Chinese spirits market is expected to witness a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15% from $205bn in 2016 to $450bn by 2021, according to a report by GlobalData.

Titled ‘Country Profile: Spirits Sector in China, the report attributes this growth to a rise in drinking culture at social gatherings. The volume of spirits consumption is expected to increase from 8.4 billion litres in 2016 to 16.9 billion by 2021.

China’s GDP has grown at a rate of 8% in the past few years, leading to an increase in disposable income in the cosmopolitan areas. As a result, Chinese consumers are spending more on drinks.

Urban China accounted for the highest percentage of spirits consumption at 54.4%, while rural China’s consumption was negligible.

"Six in ten consumers [of spirits] were found to be male."

In terms of the types of spirits consumers, six in ten consumers were found to be male. However, the number of female drinkers is expected to increase in the forthcoming years.

Specialty spirits topped the market with a value share of 94.2% and volume share of 98.2%, according to the report. Brandy stood second with a value share of 3.9% and a volume share of 0.9%, while Whiskey, Vodka, Gin & Genever, Tequila & Mezcal, and Liqueurs & Rum followed.

Although the Tequila & Mezcal segment had the lowest share in both value and volume, it is expected to emerge as the fastest growing segment in the market, notes GlobalData analyst Ryan Whittaker. The segment is expected to grow at 21.6% over the forecast period.