Discus review of US spirits industry

08 February, 2013

 – Super Premium up 10.0% to 6.3m, revenue up 9.5% to $1.3bn.

New products – 171 new products in 2012: 122 flavoured. New flavored products accounted for nearly 1m cases

Bourbon & Tennessee Whiskey

The largest whiskey category 16.9M cases, $2.2B revenue – volume up 5.2%, revenue up 7.3%, 46 new bourbons/three flavoured whiskeys. Recent growth shows consumer’s willingness to experiment

Performance by price segment:

–Value, volume up 2.9% to 2.8m, revenue up 4.8% to $157m

– Premium, volume up 7.5% to 5m, revenue up 9.4% to $499m

– High End, volume up 3.8% to 8.1m, revenue up 5.7% to $1.3bn

 – Super Premium, volume up 12.4% to 1m, revenue up 14.4% to $222m.

Category growth has spurred interest in other American Whiskeys – Rye volume up 50%+ to 275,000 (22 new Ryes). There are several white whiskeys now on market

Scotch & Irish whiskey

Single malt Scotch continues rapid growth – concentrated in High End and Super Premium – Volume up 13.0% to 1.6m, revenue up 16.4% to $515m – 53 new product introductions.

Blended Scotch strong growth in High End & Super Premium – Volume -0.4% to 7.6m, but revenue up 3.9% to $1.3bn

Irish whiskey is the fastest-growing category – Volume up 22.5% to 2.2m, revenue up 23.7% to $415m


The original flavored category. Volume up 4.7% to 21.2m, revenue up 3.1% to $2.5bn.

Performance by price segments:

– Value, volume up 9.8% to 8.1m, revenue up 9.8% to $481m

– Premium, volume 0.4% to 11.3m, revenue -0.6 to $1.6bn

– High End, volume up 10.7% to 1.8m, revenue up 10.9% to $421m

– Super Premium, volume up double digits, less than 100,000 cases

163 new products introduced, 143 flavoured


Tequila volume grew 2.9% to 12.3m cases. Tequila revenue up 4.6% to $1.9bn

Performance by price segments:

– Value, volume up 1.8% to 2.9m, revenue up 1.8% to $221m

– Premium, volume 1.0% to 6.4m, revenue flat $749m

– High End, volume up 7.0% to 1.1m, revenue up 6.4% to $205m

– Super Premium volume up 9.1% to 1.9m, revenue up 10.3% to $707m.

There were 40 new tequilas introduced.

Rum & gin

Rum volume up 1.5% to 25.5m, revenue up 1.9% to $2.3bn – rum is the second largest product category after vodka – Strong growth in Value, volume up 3.3%

– Super Premium up 8.1%, but small segment;

– 63 new rums, 22 flavoured gin volume up 1.5% to 10.7m, revenue up 2.7% to $873m;

The category volume is concentrated in the Value segment, 7.4m

– Growth driven by Premium segment, 19.2%;

– 36 new gins introduced, 4 flavoured – Popular product with craft distillers.


• Volume/revenue – Revenue up 4.5% to $21.3bn – Volume up 3.0% to 202m 9-litre cases;

• Premium+ products driving revenue growth – Super Premium volumes up 8.9%;

• Maintained and grew recent market share gains – 34.3% revenue market share, 31.9% volume market share;

• Strong product development meeting consumer demand.

Finally, US spirits exports hit new record with $1.5bn, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce, compiled by the US International Trade Commission, with wine at $1.28bn and beer at $447m. American whiskeys account for 68% of US total spirits exports.

The US’s top export markets are: Canada, Australia, UK, Germany, France, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Mexico and Italy.

Of emerging markets the largest growths from 2000 to 2012 have come from: Vietnam (7,520% from a negligible base) Singapore (918%, the largest overall), Latvia 2,907%, Poland (2,691%) and Romania (1,387%).


Nick Strangeway

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