Flavoured spirits are driving the category as a whole

Flavoured spirits are driving the category as a whole

A list of the fastest-growing spirits brands in the US last year highlights consumers' appetite for flavours and the diverse trends driving the industry, according to a new report.

Among the top ten biggest climbers are five vodkas varying in price, two whiskey-based liqueurs, a cream rum liqueur, a spiced rum entry and a premium-priced blue agave Tequila, Technomic's 2013 Spirits Trends in Adult Beverage (TAB) report revealed yesterday (16 May). 

Agave Loco Brands' Rumchata liqueur was the fastest-growing brand in 2012, with volumes up 470.3% to 365,000 nine-litre cases. The full list can be viewed here.

Meanwhile, overall US sales of spirits in 2012 outpaced both wine and beer, with vodka accounting for a third of all category volumes. Total spirit volumes rose by 3.2% to a record 205m nine-litre cases last year, the report showed. "Spirits was actually the fastest-growing segment of adult beverage in 2012 ... we anticipate that trend continuing in 2013," said Eric Schmidt, director of research at Technomic. 

The Irish whiskey category in the US grew by 21.6%, but remained the smallest share in the spirits segment. Vodka, with the largest share of spirits, grew sales by 5.8%. American straight whiskey increased its sales by 5.2% while Tequila saw a 3.8% rise in 2012. 

Technomic also flagged up the continuing trend of premiumisation as "the higher price tiers outperformed the lower ones in every spirits category, with the exception of blended American whiskey and cordials and liqueurs". 

Diageo remained the biggest spirits supplier by volume in the US, followed by Beam Inc and Sazerac, the report found.