Raki on the rocks

Traditional Turkish drink faces declining sales and falling popularity due to economic factors

Younger consumers are turning away from traditional tipples like raki.
Younger consumers are turning away from traditional tipples like raki.

Sales of traditional Turkish spirit raki are declining due to a growing number of economic factors and shrinking popularity.

The drink, which is deeply ingrained in Turkish culture, has been hit by high taxes and economic woes, according to a report by Business Monitor International (BMI).

The report said: “Turkish consumers are being hit by a double-whammy of an economic crisis and steep taxes on alcoholic drinks, which has placed downward pressure on demand [for raki] as consumers look for cheaper alternatives.”

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Raki, a non-sweet aniseed flavoured apéritif similar in style and taste to Greek favourite Ouzo, has been popular on the Anatolian peninsula for 300 years.

BMI said that the drink was declining in popularity due to the influx of western products into the country.

“The drink is likely to continue being weighed down by younger consumers’ growing appetite for Western food and drink products,” added the report; BMI claimed younger generations were boosting sales of foreign alcohol brands.

It also stated that while the Turkish economy would continue to grow in the long-term, raki’s popularity would not.

“While we maintain our upbeat stance on the long-term dynamics of the Turkish economy, we note that it is unlikely that the popularity of raki will rebound to previous peaks,” concluded BMI in its April edition of Middle East & Africa Food and Drink Insight.

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