(this news brief was posted by Shanken News Daily on November 14, 2011) Entering the key holiday-selling season, the spirits industry is showing solid momentum. Spirits sales in food and drug stores were up 2.5% by volume in the 52 weeks ending October 30, 2011, according to Chicago-based SymphonyIRI Group. Off-premise growth was even better on a dollar basis, up 3.2% over the same time period. The data represent roughly 15% of the total U.S. spirits market, as estimated by Impact Databank.
High-end brands continue to drive the market, as super-premium, ultra-premium and luxury-priced spirits, with an average price of just under $20 per 750-ml. bottle, combined for 7.8% volume growth during the past 52 weeks, as well as a 6.8% increase by value. On the other hand, lower-priced segments ($8.60 per bottle on average), combined for just a 1.4% increase by both volume and value.
The fastest-growing spirit types over the past 52 weeks were all priced above the industry average, including Irish whiskey (+23.9% by volume), imported vodka (+15.4%), single malt Scotch (+9.8%) and Cognac (+8.6%), while declines continued for blended Scotch (-5.6%), non-Cognac brandy (-3.3%) and gin (-3.1%).
Among the 200 largest-selling brands ranked by dollar sales, triple-digit growth was recorded during the past 52 weeks by Pinnacle, Skinnygirl, Camarena, Tito’s, Malibu cocktails and The Kraken rum. Among the 25 largest-selling brands in food/drug stores, Jameson (+30.1%) and Svedka (+18.5%) had the fastest volume growth.