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Tequila overtakes American whiskey in US

Mexican spirit Tequila has surpassed American whiskey in value terms to become the second most valuable spirit category in the US.

Agave Tequila
Tequila is due to surpass vodka in value terms in the US in 2023

Furthermore, IWSR Drinks Market Analysis said Tequila was set to overtake vodka in 2023 to be the biggest category by value.

Total spirits volume sales in the US grew by 2% in 2022 – with strong demand for premium-plus products.

Premium-and-above spirits sales rose by 13% in volume terms last year, IWSR statistics show.

Agave spirits contributed US$1.6 billion to the spirits industry in 2022, IWSR noted. This growth was responsible for 70% of the overall volume growth and 65% of overall value growth of total US spirits.

While total volume sales of spirits were up, wine declined by 2%, as did beer, while cider dropped by 4%.

Ready-to-drink (RTD) spirits offerings showed ‘moderate’ gains of less than 1%, but the premium portion was up by 38%.

Brandy Rand, chief strategy officer, IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, said: “Economic uncertainty continued throughout 2022, ranging from inflation to talks of a recession to supply chain instability.

“Despite this, a recent IWSR consumer price sensitivity survey shows Americans feel confident about their finances at a personal level.”

In terms of demographics, IWSR noted that high-income drinkers – those earning more than US$150,000 annually – were ‘especially secure’. Across all age brackets, Millennials showed more confidence than older drinkers.

Consumer spending and purchasing volumes were up in 2022 compared with 2021 in most tracked categories, IWSR noted.

Regarding premiumisation, spirits are leading the trend. IWSR highlighted that 33% of Americans said they had spent US$50 or more on a bottle of alcohol in 2022, up from 24% the previous year.

Plus, six in 10 online shoppers said they spend more on alcohol online than in-store.

Rand added: “Another area where premiumisation is proving to be a key factor driving volume is at-home consumption.

“With a vast majority of Americans consuming alcohol at home, 46% say they are likely to treat themselves to better quality drinks there, which is also beneficial for wine and beer.”

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