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Spirits sales in US control states on the rise

Spirits sales across US control states increased in 2014, but overall growth rate was still lower than the average reported over the past 15 years.

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Volumes of spirits sales in US control states grew last year, but still remain lower than the 15-year average

According to date released by the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA), last year nine-litre spirits case sales in control states grew by 2.5% – more than double the 1.1% growth of 2013 – but still down on 2012’s growth rate of 3.6%.

Despite sales still staying low, the increase suggests “2015 will be a more robust year than that delivered by 2013 or 2014”.

Shelf dollars grew at 5.1%, compared to 4% in 2013 and only slightly behind 5.6% in 2012.

Overall, Irish whiskey performed strongest out of all spirits categories, showing an annual growth rate of 11.6%, marginally less than 2013’s 12%.

Cognac and Brandy showed significant improvement on 2013’s 2% growth, experiencing 7.4% annual growth rate last year.

Cordials, Tequila, domestic whiskey and vodka grew at 8%, 4.4%, 3.8% and 2.2% respectively.

On the contrary, sales of rum, Scotch, Canadian whisky, gin and cocktails declined by -0.1%, -0.5%, -0.6%, -2.1% and -6.1% respectively.

The control states are divided into Central, Southern, North Western and North Eastern.

Sales volumes in the Central control states, formed of Iowa, Montgomery County Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, and the Southern Control States, including Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina and Virginia, grew 2.7% throughout 2014.

The North Western control states, comprising Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming, grew by 2.2%,

Meanwhile, the North Eastern control states, encompassing Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, experienced 1.4% annual growth.

Throughout December, nine-litre case sales in the control states increased by 8%, attributed to a “weak comp” in comparison to the same period in 2013.

Shelf dollars in December grew 10.9%, nearly double that of the preceding months.

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