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American drinkers move from beer to Bourbon

The American spirits industry has continued to steal market share from beer for the fifth consecutive year, as consumers become drawn in by flavoured whiskey and premium products.

Bourbon is taking market share from beer brands

Overall spirits sales grew 2.2% by volume to 210 million cases in 2014, according to a new report from the Distilled Spirits Council of the US (Discus), released today.

In terms of value, sales reached US$23.1 billion, up 4% on 2013.

In terms of market share, the spirits market has gained 6.4 points versus beer since 2000, with each point worth around US$650m.

Peter Cressy, president of Discus, said: “Consumer interest in industry innovations and premium products from distilled spirits producers of all sizes contributed to another year of steady growth in 2014.

“In the US market, strong consumer interest in cocktails, along with continuing market access and modernisation improvements, is providing the industry with a solid base for future growth.”

The fastest-growing spirits category for the year was Irish whiskey, which was up 9.1% overall, with a whopping 59.2% growth for premium expressions.

Following close behind was Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey, which grew 7.4% overall to 19 million cases.

David Ozo, Discus chief economist, said the data shows flavoured spirits – including whiskey, vodka and rum, grew by 1.9 million cases.

“The breadth and range of quality spirits products now on the market make this an exciting time for the industry’s customers,” he said.

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