US gin volumes tumble 1.7% in 2015
Total gin volume sales in the US market fell 1.7% to 9.9 million nine-litre cases in 2015, representing a loss of 167,000 cases.
The surprise headline decline hides underlying strength in the super-premium send of the category however, which saw a 22% volume uplift last year.
The figures were released by IWSR on the launch of its 2016 US Beverage Alcohol Review report.
When taken as a whole, the distilled spirits industry in the US posted its 19th consecutive year of volume gains, shifting 221.6m nine-litre cases for the year, representing an additional 7.4m cases.
US whiskey volumes grew 4.6% with the addition of 1.2m nine-litre cases, while Canadian whisky volumes advanced 9.8% – or 1.9m cases – to 21.6m. Both outpaced Scotch, which managed 0.3% volume gains to finish on 8.2m cases. Irish whiskey continued its charge, with volumes soaring 19% pushing the category beyond the 3m nine-litre case mark. While from a small base, the Japanese and Other Whisk(e)y category posted 54.3% gains to end 2015 with 27,000 nine-litre cases.
Tequila too made significant gains in 2015, climbing 5.2% to pass the 15m case mark.
Vodka, while still struggling, posted a 1% volume increase, representing 735,000 extra nine-litre cases, taking total category volumes to 71.3m cases.
Rum joined gin as a declining category, with volume sales down 2.7% to 22.1m nine-litre cases. The liqueurs and cordials segment also saw losses, contracting 2.1% to close the year on 21.6m cases.
Earlier this year, the heads of Chivas Brothers and trade body the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) warned that the UK gin industry could see declines with the Brexit vote.