Sales on-premise of spirits may be sluggish, but that hasn’t stopped the whiskey or tequila markets from booming in the past year.
In its annual report of the state of the spirits industry, the Distilled Spirits Council of the US (DISCUS) reported steady supplier sales growth in 2013, whiskey was up 4.4 percent to $22.2 billion, paced by whiskeys of all varieties; total U.S. volume growth was up 1.9% to approximately 206 million cases, and estimated overall retail sales of distilled spirits in the U.S. market hit $66 billion.
Spirit’s market share versus beer grew for the fourth straight year, rising by four-tenths of a point for a total of 34.7% share of the beverage alcohol market. The total market share gain for spirits since 2000 has been six points (each point of market share equals approximately $630 million in supplier sales.)
DISCUS reported that key factors contributing to the U.S. market growth included industry product innovations and consumer fascination with premiumization, heritage and cocktail culture.
“The wide product selection spirits suppliers offer consumers again paid off with solid revenue growth,” DISCUS chief economist David Ozgo reported. “For the first time in decades, all Whiskey categories saw some growth….2013 was a banner year.”
Whiskeys of all varieties grew 6.2% to 52.7 million cases, worth just over $7 billion in supplier sales, up 10.1% or $643 million in 2013. Highlights include Irish whiskey up 17.5% in volume to 2.5 million cases worth $500 million and up 20.5% in revenue; Single Malt Scotch up 11.6% in volume to 1.8 million cases worth $590 million, up 14.7% in revenue; and Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey up 6.8% in volume to 18 million cases worth $2.4 billion, up 10.2% in revenue.
He also reported solid U.S. growth in several other categories including Tequila, which showed volumes rising by 6.6% and revenue up by 7.9%, with strongest growth particularly in the more expensive price segments; steady growth in Cognac with volumes up 3.7%; and Vodka volumes up 1.1%.