Rakı consumption drops, exports jump

Rakı consumption drops, exports jump

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet
Rakı consumption drops, exports jump

The consumption of rakı, the aniseed-based alcoholic drink, is on the fall.

Turkey’s rakı consumption has fallen 50 percent in the last 13 years, mainly due to rising prices and diversification in alcohol taste, according to professionals.

Rakı, known as the Turks’ national drink, showed a considerable fall in local market consumption, decreasing from 80 million liters to 46 million between 1999 and 2011.

However, where domestic rakı consumption shrank, exports hiked 50 percent in the last decade, shooting from 2.6 million liters in 2000 to nearly 6 million liters last year.

The essential reason behind the decrease in domestic rakı consumption is accepted as rising prices in recent years. While the price was 2.34 Turkish liras in 1998, it jumped to 51.5 liras last year, a 25-time increase.

Less tax on scotch, vodka

Furthermore, scotch and vodka have expanded their share in the local market due to tax decreases and the preference of younger generations.

Despite Turkey being one of the leading rakı producers of the world, it has the second most expensive price, after the United Kingdom. Turkey also has the highest price in regard to purchasing power, while Iraq has the lowest.

Turkey’s rakı market value is 2.2 billion liras, with 80 million bottles of rakı at 46.2 million liters consumed in 2011.There are four rakı producers in the local market offering 31 types of rakı.

Need for strong domestic market
“The consumption share of rakı is constantly decreasing among alcoholic beverages. If fundamental investments are made, rakı can reach the success of tequila, which had also been a local drink,” said Egemen Demirtaş, the president of the Traditional Alcoholic Beverages Producers Association (GİSDER) and the CEO of Efe Rakı. He pointed out that unless rakı becomes strong in the local market, it cannot exist in the world.

According to a 2011 report by Impact Databank, rakı ranked 14th in revenues among the most valuable alcoholic beverages in the world and first in the category of an anisette.