The US spirits market grew 3.5% by volume in 2011

The US spirits market grew 3.5% by volume in 2011

Unique and high-end 'boutique' spirits helped the US spirits markets grow by 3.5% by volume in 2011, according to a new report.    

Total spirits volumes reached 199.8m 9-litre cases last year, said the Technomic 2012 SpiritsTAB report, released yesterday (1 May). Spirits last year accounted for 6.4% of total US alcohol sales, up from 6.1% in 2010.

The biggest growing drink in 2011, the report found, was Beam's Skinnygirl Cocktail range, which saw a sales rise of 388% to 586,000 9-litre cases. Second was Familia Camarena Tequila, from Alto Spirits/E & J Gallo Winery, with an increase of 233%.

Donna Hood Crecca, senior director of the adult beverage resource group at Technomic, said that much of the spirits growth “occured at the higher end of the pricing spectrum” with increases among “unique and boutique spirits”. She added: “This indicates that consumers are willing to spend for quality spirits, despite the economic trends, whether in a bar or restaurant or at a retail store. What's more, they remain interested in exploring new and different expressions."

The report found vodka remains the largest category, with a 32% share of spirits volume, and achieved the largest case gain. Irish whisky, the smallest category, recorded the largest increase - 22%. 

Other hot spots were Tequila, rye and corn whiskey. Three-quarters of spirits volume is now sold in the off-trade, according to the report.

Diageo reataind its position as the leading spirits supplier, the report found, with Beam, Bacardi USA, Sazerac and Pernod Ricard USA also making the top five respectively. The fastest-growing spirits suppliers were White Rock Distilleries, Imperial Brands and Proximo Spirits.

Around 1,000 brands within 12 spirits categories were tracked by Technomic for the report.