US spirits consumption up for 18th yearBy Kristiane Sherry
Spirits consumption in the US has increased for the 18th consecutive year, with American whiskey driving growth.
Both on- and off-trade sales rose in 2014, according to Beverage Information & Insights Group’s Liquor Handbook 2015. The growth is attributed to increased consumer confidence and the rise in disposable incomes.
Total volume growth in the country increased 1.5% to 211.8 million 9-litre cases in 2014, the report says.
Straight whiskey, the category propelling consumption trends, increased 6.4% to 18.8 million 9-litre cases. Demand is being attributed to millennial consumers and their taste for “authentic” products with heritage.
Blended whisky, which had been trending flat, saw a marginal increase, while Irish whiskey is leading the brown spirits charge. Following 11 consecutive years of double digit growth in 2014 the category posted a 7.8% volume increase.
Vodka volumes increased by 1.0% to 72.0 million 9-litre cases, and Tequila continued its five-year upwards trend with growth of over 5%.
Cordials and liqueurs were largely flat, however Sazerac’s Fireball brand defied its wider category, registering triple-digit growth with US consumption now at 3.9 million 9-litre cases.
It wasn’t good news across the board, however, with Canadian and Scotch whiskies, gin, rum and pre-mixed drinks all showing overall volume declines.
Last month, SB assessed a number of brand new American whisky brands as a report by Technomic forecast the category to grow by 1.1m cases in 2015.