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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.

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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