Taiwan, like South Korea, is one of Asia’s most cosmopolitan and wealthy markets, making it a preferred entry point for international businesses. The island nation’s alcohol market is worth over US$20 billion and is expected to expand at a 6.47 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2025, thanks to rising earnings and consumer preferences for higher-quality beverages.
Beer, like most of Asia, accounts for the majority of alcohol sales in Taiwan, both in terms of volume and dollar value. In 2020, beer sales are expected to reach over US$13 billion. Although lagers account for about half of all beers sold in Taiwan, other styles such as wheat, IPAs, and stronger-flavored beers (such as stout) are becoming more popular. Many consumers, particularly those in metropolitan areas who are young and well-educated, are searching out higher-quality beers to enjoy socially rather than the light-flavored pale lagers that were popular at earlier generations’ dinner parties and business meetings.
The second largest segment of Taiwan’s alcohol business, worth about $7 billion, is spirits, which include liqueurs. Dinner party classics for decades included baijiu, a native fire water, and cognac. This is quickly changing as customers of all demographics switch to whiskey, rum, gin, and other imported spirits. Even though foreign brands dominate, there is a young local whiskey business attempting to meet this expanding need.
Grape wines are becoming more popular. Whites are less common than reds, although roses are becoming more popular. Wines are seen as elegant, easy-to-drink low-alcohol alternatives to harsher liquors like baijiu. Wine, which is currently valued at about $2 billion, is expected to expand at a rapid rate in the coming years as part of a fundamental shift in consumer preferences.
The evolution of Taiwan’s alcohol market is being driven by differences in cross-generational preferences. Younger Taiwanese are looking for a combination of greater quality, new and innovative flavors, less alcohol, and healthier options. Demand for tasty full-bodied beers, international spirits, and grape wines is rising across the board as a result.
Taiwan’s economy has outperformed the rest of the world throughout the epidemic, increasing in 2020 and 2021. It should be a top priority for any company considering entry or expansion in Asia, with strong fundamentals, smart consumers, and expanding demand for most categories of imported beer, wine, spirits, and liqueurs.