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Digestifs lead Hungarian spirits preferences

Hungarians spend more than HUF 80 billion per year on spirits. However, despite being the national drink, pálinka does not rank highest among Hungarian consumersʼ preferences, research by Nielsen shows.

The Nielsen market research company studied the Hungarian spirits market between September 2015 and August 2017. According to its findings, digestif drinks - spirits usually taken after a meal to aid digestion - lead retail spirits sales with a 26% share of the segment, while vodka and pálinka rank second and third, with 25% and 17%, respectively.

What is more, overall sales of digestifs have grown by 12% year-on-year, from HUF 19 billion to more than HUF 21 bln, business portal reports.

Hungarians prefer to buy digestifs in hypermarkets above 2,500 square meters in area, with more than one third of sales in this spirits category registered in such stores, the research shows. However, small shops are catching up, with the market share of digestif sales in units of below 50 sqm having grown in one year from 17% to 21%.

As for packaging, the 0.5 liter bottle size is the most popular, but in the Christmas period sales of 0.75 liter bottles grow.

According to World Health Organization (WHO) data, annual alcoholic beverage consumption in Hungary is 12.3 liters per capita, which is similar to Poland, Slovakia and the U.K.

Revenues of Hungarian spirits producing companies amounted to HUF 48.8 bln last year, which is a record low. In 2009, revenues totaled HUF 76.38 bln, reports.