US craft whiskey market ‘not yet crowded’

24th October, 2018 by Nicola Carruthers

Craft spirits in the US grew by 1.5 million nine-litre cases in 2017, representing 31.1% of total spirits growth in the US, according to a recent report.

“Future is bright” for craft spirits market in the US

In the IWSR US Craft Spirits Report 2018, craft spirits claim 3.3% of the total US spirits industry.

Craft spirits in the US “significantly outperformed” in the overall industry by both volume and value growth, according to the IWSR.

From 2010 to 2017, the CAGR for overall spirits was 2.8%, while the CAGR for craft spirits was 25.8%.

Looking ahead to 2022, total spirits volumes are expected to have a CAGR of 2.1%, while craft spirits is forecast to have a CAGR of 22%.

US craft whiskey grew by 28.1% last year to reach 26m nine-litre cases. The category is forecast to reach 7.8m cases by 2022 on a CAGR of 24.3%.

Bourbon dominated sales of US craft whiskey with a 46.4% volume share and a 45.7% share of off-premise value. The category surpassed the nine-litre one-million-mark in 2017, increasing by 41.9%.

Craft Bourbon is expected to add another 2.4m nine-litre cases by 2022, totalling 3.6m cases.

The report also noted that the US craft whiskey category is “not yet considered crowded” with moonshine, vodka, liqueurs, and to some extent, rum and gin, seen as crowded.

Categories seen as untapped in the craft sector include agave-based spirits, aquavit and soju, the latter of which is “on the verge” of being tapped into in the US.

Demand for Tequila and mezcal shows no signs of slowing, the report also claimed.

The IWSR said that “there are decades to go until any saturation is reached in craft spirits: the number of distilleries per capita (10.6 per 1,000 adults) is still dwarfed by breweries (37.3).

“The recent growth trajectory of craft spirits coupled with the vast number of distilleries currently in planning suggests the future is bright for the craft spirits industry.”

The report uses select results from the Craft Spirits Data Project, led by the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA), consultancy Park Street, and research provider the IWSR.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to our newsletter