Handbook Advance Highlights Industry Trends

Distilled spirits consumption volume in 2015 was up 2.0% to more than 215 million cases. But what categories drove that sales trend? The executive summary in the 2016 Handbook Advance provides a road map to understanding the current state of the industry, including these five highlights.

Handbook-Advance-page-001_largeBourbon Grows Outside America

The overseas market is the great untapped potential for American brown spirits. Export volumes of Bourbon, Tennessee and Rye grew 4% in 2015 as interest increased among global consumers. Domestically, the straight whiskey category grew 4.9% to nearly 20 million cases, just missing the sales peak of 20 years ago. The top ten brands, which represent 83% of the market, grew by 5.7% in 2015, outpacing the rest of the category.

Canadian Back on Track

After a slight decrease in 2014, Canadian Whisky bounced back in 2015 and increased by 2.2% to 15.8 million cases. As in other spirits categories, premium brands drove growth – premium revenues were up 144%, while super-premium increased 46%. Crown Royal, the category leader by far, grew by an impressive 24. The Diageo brand sold more than 5 million cases, reaching that milestone with a series of successful brand extensions.

Tequila Poised to Grow

The tequila category has benefited from a global shift toward premium, craft spirits. In 2015, sales grew 4.4% to 14.9 million cases. Product quality is also increasing – last year, 42% of exports from Mexico were 100% agave, nearly three times as many as in 2002. Super-premium tequilas continue to lead the category, especially those that highlight the impacts of climate, terrain, weather and other influences on the liquid in the bottle. The story behind the spirit continues to captivate today’s beverage alcohol consumers.

Vodka’s Continued Dominance

The largest spirits category’s 20-year growth span continued in 2015, as vodka sales grew 1.1% to 72.8 million cases. That represents a 33.7% share of the distilled spirits market, nearly triple the closest competitor (rum). As flavored vodka has begun to decline thanks to market saturation, unflavored vodkas like Tito’s and New Amsterdam continue to rise.

Rum Needs a Turnaround

Rum sales decreased again in 2015, falling to 24.7 million cases, a 1.5% decline. Nearly 60% of the category is held by Bacardi and Captain Morgan, and both brands saw sales drops in 2015. Both brands have launched new packaging and advertising campaigns to target Millennials, but the impact remains to be seen. The bright spots in the category are currently newer brands like Admiral Nelson and The Kraken.


For more information about the Handbook Advance, visit www.bevinfostore.com or contact Andrew Sims at asims@epgmediallc.com.



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