Tito's Handmade Vodka has increased its volumes this year in the US on-trade by 66%, helping to drive the craft spirits sub-category as mainstream brands languish, according to latest figures.

Austin-based Tito's, which produces its namesake vodka brand, has seen volumes quicken over the year despite overall weakness in the US on-trade spirits channel, tracking firm GuestMetrics said yesterday (19 December). Year-on-year volume growth for the vodka in Q1 was 53%, 66% in Q2 and 72% in the most recent quarter. 

The final quarter of the year “is on pace to be even stronger”, GuestMetrics added.

Tito's strong showing meant that craft spirits brands grew volumes by 26% in the first 11 months of the year, while mainstream spirits brands were up by about 3.5%, according to GuestMetrics.

Excluding Tito's, craft spirits still found growth in the US on-trade, up 12% to 13% for the 11 months, GuestMetrics said.

The tracking firm suggested craft spirits could have “a long runway for growth” as the volumes increase has come despite only a 4% increase in the number of craft spirits brands available in the US on-trade.

“Contrary to craft beer, where the proliferation of craft brands in on-premise in 2013 is significantly outpacing the growth in craft beer volumes in on-premise, the growth in craft spirits appears to be in its early stages,” GuestMetrics said.

This week, GuestMetrics reported that craft beer volumes in the US on-trade have slipped in the second half of the year.