American Whiskey Driving Spirits Growth

The distilled spirits sector continues to deliver steady growth, with 2015 volumes up 2.0 percent according to the upcoming Handbook Advance release. Published by the Beverage Information & Insights Group in the first quarter of each year, the Handbook Advance provides the first complete picture of the beverage alcohol marketplace from the previous year.

Distilled Spirits Consumption by category, 2014-2015p

Category2014 Cases2014 Share %2015p Cases2015 Share %% Change 14/15
TOTAL DISTILLED SPIRITS211,775100.00215,944100.02.0
American Whiskey187608.9196709.14.9
Imported Whisky2681512.72792912.94.2
Rum (r)2506011.82467511.4(1.5)
Prepared Cocktails47652.347852.20.4
(Thousands 9-liter cases)

(p) Preliminary
(r) Revised



Among the segments driving growth within distilled spirits, American Whiskey led the way, followed closely by Canadian and Irish Whiskeys, Brandy/Cognac, Tequila and Scotch (particularly single malt). Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey dominated the American Whiskey sector, which has seen awareness and consumer interest grow over the past few years. That increased awareness has led to consumers trading up to more expensive brands – especially those in the high-end ($20-30 per 750ml.) and super-premium ($30+ per 750ml.).

Consumer’s premium preferences and continued product innovation by suppliers are the biggest factors driving positive performance among distilled spirits.

Rum and gin were the two categories bucking the trend, as both saw slight volume decreases. However, the spirits category as a whole achieved a slight increase in market share relative to beer, which has dominated beverage alcohol for decades.




Marina Velez is Senior Project Manager, Data and Insights at the Beverage Information & Insights Group. She can be reached at or 203-855-8499 x2212.

For more information about the BIIG Handbooks, visit

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