Some good news coming out of the spirits industry – U.S. alcohol consumption is way up, continuing a 14 year streak of gains that wasn’t even broken by the recession or recovering economy. The Beverage Information Group just released their annual Liquor Handbook, and they found that the spirits market expanded 3.4% in 2011, with imports rising 5.0% to 81.5 million cases and domestic spirits rising 2.3% for a whopping 117.2 million cases sold. We’re a thirsty bunch, that’s for sure!
Interestingly enough, it was high end spirits that showed the most strength. Although wallet-friendly labels still did well, it was the premium and super premium brands that really delivered. This means that people have more dollars in their wallets and are not “trading down” to the cheap stuff as much as they have been in the recent past.
Also on the ascendant? Craft distilleries. Boutique producers are experiencing a boom, having grown from 24 to 234 since 2000. We love the tasty and unique labels coming out of these distilleries and have just one thing to say about this trend: more, please.
Industry die hards and liquor geeks can learn more about the Handbook (including how to order it) at this website: www.bevinfostore.com.