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US spirits consumption up for 18th year

Spirits consumption in the US has increased for the 18th consecutive year, with American whiskey driving growth.

Top-10-spirits-trends-to-watch-in-2015
American spirits consumption is up for the 18th consecutive year, with US whiskeys driving the trend.

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.

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