Whisk(e)y stole on-trade market share from vodka last year

Whisk(e)y stole on-trade market share from vodka last year

Bourbon whiskey and Scotch whisky stole market share from vodka and gin in the US on-trade in 2012, with the trend accelerating in the fourth quarter, according to latest figures.

Sales of brown spirits were up last year by around 5%, while clear spirits sales rose by only 0.5%, analysts GuestMetrics said today (19 February). Both categories saw prices raised by around 2% in the year, the study finds.

In last year's fourth quarter, on-trade brown spirit sales were up by 5% year-on-year, against sales of clear spirits which were “slightly negative”, GuestMetrics said.

However, total US vodka sales remained ahead of whisk(e)y in volumes terms in 2012, according to data from industry body DISCUS.

GuestMetrics said gains for brown spirits in the on-trade were led by Bourbons and blends, up 120 basis points, followed by Irish and Scotch whisk(e)y. 

For clear spirits, vodka saw the largest loss, down 90 basis points in share, followed by rum and cordials with share losses of 40 basis points and 35 basis points, respectively.

GuestMetrics figures are based on around US$8bn worth of transactions in US restaurants and bars in 2012.