Upcoming Events
Spirits of Mexico
San Diego, CA
Sept. 11–17 2011
Spirits of Mexico NY
New York, NY
October 13, 2011

Liquid Living Magazine

New Products, Innovative Cocktails and Trading Up Push U.S. Spirits Consumption Ever Higher

Source: Adams Beverage Media, Adams Liquor Handbook

NORWALK, Conn., July 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The spirit business in America is hot and getting hotter, as consumers in 2006 continued to flock to more expensive premium and flavored products, according to the just-published Adams Liquor Handbook 2007.

Total spirits consumption rose 3.7% last year to 176.7 million 9-liter cases, marking the ninth consecutive year of such strong increases. These and other details of the spirits industry's resurgence come from the most important detailed annual compendium of facts and figures about domestic spirits consumption, the Adams Liquor Handbook 2007, just published by the Adams Beverage Group, a division of M2MEDIA360.

"Virtually without exception, consumers are responding positively to the range of quality products for sale in every spirit category," remarked Charles Forman, vice president and group publisher, Adams Beverage Group.

"The cocktail craze is certainly fueling much of this growth, and now people are taking inspiration from what they are served at bars and restaurants and making those drinks at home with high-end spirits, pleasing both on- and off-premise retailers. "Vodka, rum and tequila continued to lead spirit sales growth last year, up more than 4.8 million cases together. Vodka grew 6.8% to hit 49.4 million cases, rum 3.8% to 22.9 million cases and tequila 10.8% to 10.0 million cases. (Irish whiskey, off a much smaller base, grew the most of all spirits in percentage terms -- up 19.0% last year to 732,000 cases.)

Whiskey once again grew last year, with total sales of all whiskey categories up 1.2% to reach 45.0 million cases. Cordials and liqueurs, the third best-selling category, also posted substantial gains, up 3.2%, more than 665,000 cases, to reach 21.4 million cases.

Indications are that the trading-up trend, where consumers continue to drink within their favored category but opt for the higher priced super-premium brands, is strong in every category. As young adult consumers mature, they are fueling this trend, seeking both flavor appeal and status symbol associations. Increased marketing and advertising initiatives for these luxury products continues to build on this prestigious positioning .

Overall, imported spirits grew at a much faster pace than domestic brands — total domestic spirits were up 2.4% to 106.6 million cases, while imports jumped 5.9% to 70.1 million cases. This divergence in growth trends could be seen best in the Brandy and Cognac category: domestic brandy grew 1.4% to 5.9 million cases, while Cognac grew 5.3% to 3.9 million cases.

"Price sensitivity isn't a barrier anymore, not when it comes to enjoying ourselves with quality spirits," observed Forman. "What once seemed to be a fad is now clearly a trend: American consumers like the best and are willing to pay for it."

The Adams Beverage Group predicts continued good news for the spirits business, forecasting another gain this year to 182.5 million cases, up 3.3%.

The Adams Liquor Handbook 2007 is a comprehensive source of information on U.S. spirits and sales trends, compiled for professionals in the field.

The Handbook includes information on consumption by category and by market, tracks leading brands including imports, and reports historical data.


For editorial:
Eric Schmidt

For handbook sales:

Cynthia Porter