Investors Enjoy a Gulp of the Whiskey ETF

An exchange traded fund theme based on the alcoholic beverages industry has been outpacing the broader market and may continue to remain in high spirits on supportive global demographics and a rising middle-income group in the emerging markets.

The Spirited Funds/ETFMG Whiskey and Spirits ETF (NYSEARCA: WSKY), which debuted in October, has increased 10.5% year-to-date, compared to the S&P 500’s 7.4% gain so far this year.

Market watchers who will be on Churchill Downs in Louisville may also see Spirited Funds among the race partners in the iconic Derby as well.

WSKY tries to reflect the performance of the Spirited Funds/ETFMG Whiskey & Spirits Index, which is comprised of companies that are whiskey and/or spirit distilleries, breweries, and vintners and related luxury goods companies engaged in the sale of whiskey or the production and sale of mixers for use with premium spirits, according to a prospectus sheet.

The group of applicable companies is broken down into so-called Core and Non-Core holdings where Core components include those that operate a whiskey distillery and are primarily engaged in the production of whiskey or spirits while Non-Core components are companies not categorized as Core companies but are involved in luxury goods and sale of spirits or mixers. If the underlying index’s aggregate weight of Core companies fall below 85%, additionally components are taken from Non-Core companies based on market capitalization.

The whiskey and spirits industry may also provide investors with some mitigation in down markets due to consumer behavior and the commodity-linked nature of the components.

Looking ahead, the alcoholic beverages market could hit $1.594 trillion globally by 2022, largely due to increased demand in both volume and value terms out of the Asia-Pacific market, according to Allied Market Research.

Specifically, a growing group of global young adult demographic coupled with rising disposable income could fuel the global alcoholic beverages market.

“The demand for distilled spirits in the alcohol industry is relatively high, owing to the shift towards high-grade spirit variants,” Eswara Prasad, Team Lead, Food and Beverage at Allied Market Research, said in a note. “Higher consumption of hybrid, mixed, and flavored spirits is expected in the near future, due to the downward trend of beer market.”

For more information on market segment plays, visit our sector ETFs category.

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