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Conflicting spirits trends present ‘challenges’

The US spirits industry is continuing to grow, but the simultaneous trends of premiumisation and price consciousness is presenting challenges, according to a recent report.

spirits Technomic report
Conflicting trends of premiumisation and price consciousness in the US spirits market could present “challenges” to the industry

Researchers at Technomic’s Adult Beverage Insights Group found that despite growth in the premium spirits segment, consumers indicated that cost was the primary decision driver when making purchases.

Donna Hood Crecca, senior director at Technomic, said that the trend of consumer trade-up to more premium expressions, particularly specialty or aged whiskey, tequila, rum and Cognac, continues, but is now slowing.

“At the same time, consumers are saving money by cutting back on drinks ordered in restaurants and bars,” she added.

“These simultaneous trends may point to a drinking-less-but-drinking-better scenario for some consumers, which has strategic implications for brand marketers as well as retailers and restaurateurs.”

Technomic found that cost was the most important factor in determining what drink consumers ordered away from home, followed by what food they ordered and who they were with.

The company also found that in the above-premium spirits sector in the US, Irish whiskey grew the most in 2014 (16%), followed by single malt Scotch (8.5%), straight American whiskey (7.4%), liqueurs (7.1%), Tequila and mezcal (3.9%) and Cognac (3.7%).

These figures were reported in Technomic’s SpiritsTAB Report.

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