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Without Oak, There is No Whiskey as People Know Today

White oak is used in winemaking to alter color, taste, tannin profile, and texture of the wine. Various domestic wines, bourbon, and other spirits are aged in white oak barrels to impart highly desirable qualities to the liquid contained. In order to resemble the qualities of white oak, manufacturers have introduced alternatives such as chips, spirals, or staves. White oak’s cellular arrangement allows small measures of oxygen to penetrate barrel staves and scatter its contents, which was lacking in the alternatives. Chemical reactions help qualify tannins from the wood and stabilize the color of the liquid. Producers are carbonizing and preserving the oak alternatives before production to impart fragrance and flavor. Liquor consumers across the world are showing an affinity toward flavorful and longer consumption time drinks, along with delightful flavors. Thus, the consumer knowledge for production quality is increasing and driving the white oak alternatives market in the upcoming future.

Quercus Alba, popularly known as white oak, dominates the whiskey industry due to its mandatory uses for new charred oak barrels for bourbon aging. However, white is not legally mandatory to use, but the availability and consumer preference for flavor has made it a de facto choice. Moreover, the barrels can be reused for a second life for other whiskeys and even for rum, brandy, or tequila. If the whiskey is not stored in barrels, it would lack the toasty, caramel, nutty, or vanilla notes that bring flavor to taste. As many individuals believe, without oak, the whiskey will not taste the same. Thus, due to increasing consumer preference for liquors preserved in oak barrels, the demand for the global white oak alternatives market is expected to shrink during the forecast period.

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Restricted Supply Chain Restrains Market Growth of White Oak Alternatives

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted almost every type of industry as production reduced, customers got self-isolated at their homes, and the restrictions of global trade in several countries. The spread of coronavirus has severely impacted the white oak market due to stringent regulations for production and supply chain for finished wood products and interrelated markets for raw materials and inputs. Moreover, halted work for employee safety are resulting in low manufacturing outcomes, resulting in decreased demand for oak barrels as well as other finished wood products. Lockdowns and stay-at-home regulations have limited purchasing and availability of liquors in the market. As with fewer sales of liquor, new production batches of white oak have halted. However, the conditions are expected to improve post-pandemic as people with no current access to white oak alcohol will be looking to fulfill their desire, thus fueling the growth of the white oak alternatives market during the forecast period.

The impacts of COVID-19 can be observed in the packaging industry, owing to the consequences of self-isolation guidelines and therefore, manufacturers are moving supply chains away from Asia and transforming packaging materials used for essential commodities. This had led to a slowdown in the demand for white oak alternatives market. The recovery from the losses faced during the pandemic can be a hopeful scenario. Thus, growth in consumption of alcohol and increase in liquor consuming population are anticipated to propel the global white oak alternatives market during the forecast period.

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Using White Oak Alternatives Helps Reduce Production Cost of Alcoholic Beverages

In recent years, chips have been the most prevalent alternative both commercially and at home to impart white oak flavors. As white oak barrels can be expensive, with more weight, storage, care, spoilage, etc, consumers and producers are preferring the alternatives to save it all. Moreover, chips impart instant unattached and simple monochromatic flavor contours, leaving them bitter and harsh. Most styles of toasting chips allow a simple presence of a toasty flavor. However, with no complexity in the flavor as compared to actual barrels, the flavor is similar but not the same. Nevertheless, when used in combination with barrel aging, oak alternatives are a natural way to use complete oak to obtain a new variety of flavors that can improve the complexity of a spirit.

The popularity of white oak alternatives is very recent. Oak alternatives were unpopular and banned from being used in the winemaking or brewing processes in some nations. The U.S. and European Union discarded the restrictions to use oak chips few years ago. With the limited life span of white oak barrels and high maintenance cost to prevent contamination, the total production cost for alcoholic beverages increases. Thus, preserving spirits with oak alternatives is proving to be an efficient way and is anticipated to boost the global white oak alternatives market during the forecast period.

North America Leads Global Market Due to Regional Advantages

Oak is grown in a variety of regions differing in degrees of toast and forms. It affects the wine in almost every aspect of the mouthfeel. Oak alternatives resemble the mouthfeel most cost-effectively without using the oak barrels. However, an increasing number of people are limiting their alcohol consumption due to health and well-being concerns across the world. Thus, many individuals are attracted to low-alcoholic drinks without compromising quality or taste. This is possible due to the flavors and aroma induced by the oak alternatives in low-alcoholic drinks. Thus, the white oak alternatives market is expected to reach the revenue of ~US$ 500 Mn by 2029, at a CAGR of 6.8% during the forecast period.

White oak is preeminent hardwood from North America. The increased white oak production in the region is resulting in increased demand for white oak products. Thus, North America contributes significantly to the white oak alternatives market and is expected to rise in demand in the near future. Moreover, growing products appeal to consumers by emphasizing the superior quality of white oak is influencing European consumers toward white oak alternatives. The European white oak alternatives market is expected to reach US$ 100.1 Mn by the end of 2029.

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Analysts’ Viewpoint

The world is witnessing an increased demand for alcoholic beverages, owing to rising population and lifestyle trends. On the other hand, an increasing number of people is lowering the alcohol content in their drinks due to growing health concerns and awareness. Hence, manufacturers offer white oak alternatives to provide the taste and aroma to the drinks without spending on expensive oak barrels. Moreover, the growing demand for premiumization of alcoholic beverages by consumers where oak alternatives play a meaningful role in improving the taste, aroma, and mouthfeel of alcohol is anticipated to drive the global white oak alternatives market during the forecast period.

White Oak Alternatives Market: Overview

  • According to Transparency Market Research’s latest report on the global white oak alternatives market for the forecast period of 2021-2029, the market is estimated to grow, owing to the demand for alcoholic beverage with an enhanced taste
  • The global white oak alternatives market is expected to clock a CAGR of 6.8% during the forecast period. White oak alternatives have become highly popular as multiple brewing and winemaking companies try to distinguish themselves from their competitors.

Growing Consumer Preference for Low Alcoholic Drinks to Augment Growth of White Oak Alternatives Market

  • Low and non-alcoholic beverages are gaining traction in European nations as per Ireland's brewing trade body. Customers are growing concerned about their well-being. Low-alcoholic drinks refer to drinks, which have an ‘alcoholic strength by volume’ (ABV) between 0.05 and 1.2% without any compromise of the quality or taste. Consuming lower strength alternatives means consuming fewer units of alcohol which retains fitness.
  • According to the U.K.’s International Wines and Spirits Record (IWSR) based research in 2019 “Low- and No-Alcohol Report”, “Dry January” movement is a sign that health and wellness trends are “gaining traction across the world and providing new opportunities for the global beverage alcohol industry.”
  • In the U.S., 52% of adults who drink alcohol incline toward trying low alcoholic drinks or trying to reduce alcohol consumption. Low alcoholic beverages are gaining traction in Asia Pacific as well due to low calorie content and occasional suitability. Some of these health benefits of choosing low alcoholic drinks are driving consumer attraction toward it and fueling the growth of the white oak alternatives market globally.

White Oak Alternatives: A Cost Effective Adjunct to Oak Barrels

  • Over the years, oak alternatives such as chips, spirals or staves were uncommon and were banned from being used in the brewing/winemaking processes. It was only two decades ago that the U.S. officially allowed winemakers to use oak chips in their processes, and only over a decade ago, the European Union also discarded the prohibition on use of oak chips.
  • The classic method of fermenting and aging wine is quite expensive, as a winery would have to purchase several oak barrels costing around US$ 1,000 per barrel to ferment and age their wines. On the other hand, oak alternatives are a bit economical as wineries can purchase cheaper fermenting or aging tanks. Furthermore, another downside of oak barrels is that they release their oak in a time span of one to two years. Moreover, maintenance for oak barrels by burning sulfur wicks is essential to prevent contamination. This increases the total cost of producing the alcoholic beverages. Thus, white oak alternatives provide a cost effective solution to winemakers, which is anticipated to augment its growth in the years to come.

Home Brewing to Drive Sales of White Oak Alternatives Market

  • Home brewing trend has picked up post the COVID-19 pandemic. States imposed stay-at-home orders and brewpubs were closed. With increase in sale of home brewing equipment, fermentation becomes an important step when considering the outcome in terms of taste, mouth feel or aroma of the alcohol. This trend led to increase in the sale of small packets or quantities of oak alternatives. Multiple options such as light, medium, and heavy toast oak chips allowed the customers to determine the taste and aroma of the alcoholic beverage. Furthermore, the flexibility of adding white oak alternative at any stage makes it more versatile.
  • Interest of customers to home brew their desired flavor profile led to the sale of multiple toast and oak varieties. Oak powders, cubes, and chips were highly preferred, as they are easy to carry or deliver.  Chips have been a popular alternative for both commercially and at home brewing to impart oak flavors. The reason for the same is oak barrels have many drawbacks, including cost, weight, storage, care, spoilage, etc., which makes oak alternatives a more preferable option for home brewing.

White Oak Alternatives Market: Key Findings

  • The oak chips and oak cubes segments together are estimated to account for more than 3/5th of the market in the year 2021. Both segments are expected to generate maximum revenue.
  • Wine segment is likely to hold more than 2/5th of the market share in the year 2021. The high market share can be attributed to the large demand of white oak alternatives for the wine making process. Multiple wine manufacturers use oak alternatives, as they reduce the effect of herbs in wines. Moreover, oak alternatives are convenient, easy to use, and have a high surface-area-to-mass ratio.
  • In terms of market share, North America is likely to emerge as the dominating region in global white oak alternatives market. Since white oak is a popular species of hardwood from North America, large production of white oak has led to production of white oak products.

White Oak Alternatives Market: Competition Landscape

  • TMR analysed that the global white oak alternatives market is vastly fragmented due to presence of a large number of domestic players in the market
  • TMR Group includes outlines of key players in the latest white oak alternatives market study, which includes
    • Suber Oak International
    • Speyside Bourbon Cooperage,Inc.
    • Protéa France
    • Oak Chips, Inc.
    • G3 Enterprises, Inc.
    • Bouchard Cooperages
    • Innerstave
    • Gusmer Enterprises, Inc.
    • Canadell SAS
    • The Barrel Mill®
    • The Vintner Vault
  • TMR distinguished these white oak alternatives market players as per their segmental earnings into different tier slabs. Among these players, G3 Enterprises, J. RETTENMAIER & SÖHNE GmbH + Co KG, and Canadell SAS are identified as Tier 1 companies. The Tier 2 players include Suber Oak International, Speyside Bourbon Cooperage, Inc., and Oak Chips, Inc., among others.

Impact on COVID-19 on White Oak Alternatives Market

  • The COVID-19 pandemic witnessed a huge shift to at-home consumption of alcoholic beverages. Since, most consumers had to spend time at home due to closing of bars, pubs and restaurants. This led the customers to buy alcoholic beverages in bulk and store at home for consumption purposes.
  • On-premise sales have witnessed a drastic impact of the pandemic, whereas off-premise sales has gained traction due to home delivery solutions offered by the liquor stores
  • The demand for alcoholic beverages have faced a low heat impact of the pandemic, which had a low blow on the white oak alternatives market, as the brewing and winemaking companies continued to produce alcohol after the restrictions were eased in multiple geographical locations

White Oak Alternatives Market – Scope of the Report

Transparency Market Research (TMR) started a new study on the global white oak alternatives market, providing forecast for the period of 2021-2029. In the study, growth opportunity for the white oak alternatives market is witnessed. The report provides valuable insights, which enable readers to make winning business decisions for future growth of their businesses. The report highlights significant factors that are constantly determining the growth of the white oak alternatives market, untapped opportunities for manufacturers, trends and developments, and other insights across various key segments. Macroeconomic factors that are directly or indirectly affecting market growth are also incorporated in the report.

Key Questions Answered in TMR’s White Oak Alternatives Market Report

  • What will be the impact of COVID-19 on the white oak alternatives market?
  • Which end use will be the most lucrative for white oak alternatives?
  • What will be market size of white oak alternatives by the end of 2029?
  • Which is the most preferred product type of white oak alternatives in the global market?
  • Which region will remain most lucrative for market growth?
  • Which end use will generate maximum incremental opportunity in the global white oak alternatives market?
  • Who are major key players in the white oak alternatives market?

Key indicators associated with the white oak alternatives market have been calculated thoroughly in the report. The study enumerates vital market dynamics such as key drivers, challenges, and trends, along with opportunities in the global white oak alternatives market. A comprehensive study on the value chain, which includes component suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and end users have been incorporated in the global market report. Other key aspects laid down in the market include pricing strategy of leading market players and comparative analysis of white oak alternatives. Furthermore, forecast factors and forecast scenarios of the white oak alternatives market have been covered in the report to understand future prospects of the market.

A comprehensive evaluation and forecast on the white oak alternatives market are provided on the basis of product type, end use and region.

Y-o-Y growth comparison, volume and revenue comparison, and market share comparison of various market segments are provided in the report. The white oak alternatives market is analyzed at both regional and country levels.

The report delivers an exhaustive assessment on the structure of the white oak alternatives market, in tandem with a dashboard view of all leading company profiles in the report. Every company’s share analysis on market players have also been presented in the report, apart from the footprint matrix of profiled market players. The report depicts the presence of white oak alternatives manufacturers by leveraging an intensity map. It also highlights key end uses of white oak alternatives.

The report includes company overview of key players. Some of the key companies profiled in the white oak alternatives market report include Suber Oak International, Speyside Bourbon Cooperage,Inc., Protéa France, Oak Chips, Inc., G3 Enterprises, Inc., J. RETTENMAIER & SÖHNE GmbH + Co KG, Bouchard Cooperages, Innerstave, Gusmer Enterprises, Inc., Canadell SAS, The Barrel Mill® and The Vintner Vault.

Research Methodology

A realistic methodology, along with a holistic approach makes the base for sharp insights, which are provided in the white oak alternatives market for the study evaluation period. The TMR report comprises of detailed information on growth prospects, along with riveting insights into the forecast assessment of the market.

Extensive primary and secondary researches have been employed to garner keen insights into the forecast study of the white oak alternatives market. The report has further undergone a cross-validation by in-house professionals to make the white oak alternatives market report one-of-its-kind, with the highest credibility.

White Oak Alternatives Market – Segmentation

The global white oak alternatives market has been segmented on the basis product type, end use, and country. Each of these segments are analyzed to provide readers with holistic view of the market.

Product Type
  • Oak Staves
  • Oak Chips
  • Oak Cubes
  • Oak Spiral
  • Oak Powder
End Use
  • Wine
  • Whiskey
  • Beer
  • Other Alcoholic Beverages
  • North America
  • Latin America
  • Europe
  • Asia Pacific
  • MEA

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White Oak Alternatives Market

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