Millennials are driving experimentation in the US

Millennials are driving experimentation in the US

Drinkers in the US consumed 4.2m more cases of spirits in 2015 compared to the year prior, according to the latest figures from the Beverage Information Group. 

According to BIG's 2016 Liquor Handbook of US spirits trends, 2015 consumption increased 2% to 215.9m nine-litre cases. Employment gains and wage increases have boosted consumption of premium products at home and in the on-premise, BIG said. 

Within the spirits category, Irish whiskey saw a 12.9% jump to nearly 3m cases. American straight whiskey was up 4.8% while blended whiskey saw a 6% rise to 5.2m cases. BIG said blended whiskey had previously remained "flat for years". 

"As Millennial consumers experiment within non-Bourbon segments of the whiskey category, imports are up," BIG said. "Canadian Whisky and Scotch rose 2.2% and 5.1%, respectively, in 2015." 

Elsewhere, vodka, Tequila, brandy/Cognac and cordials/liqueurs all experienced positive growth. However, gin and rum continued their downward trends, declining 1.8% and 1.5%, respectively. Rum remains the second-largest spirits category.

"In 2016, consumers are expected to continue that experimentation, especially as improving economic conditions raise disposable income," BIG said. "Millennials seem to be driving a number of categories, with older Millennial consumers representing the largest share of drinkers in the Bourbon, Irish whiskey, Cognac, and prepared cocktails categories. Brands now understand the value of Millennial influence, as they produce new products that provide new variety."

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Global gin insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends

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