spirits sales up in the us

Spirits represent 39.1% of the total alcohol market in the U.S.

Spirits continued to gain market share from beer and wine in the United States in 2020.

According to Discus (Distilled Spirits Council of the US) spirits have, for the umpteenth consecutive year, gained market share from beer and wine.

In 2020, spirits accounted for 39.1% of the total alcoholic beverage market. This was an increase of 1.3% compared to the previous year. Overall, alcohol sales by volume grew 3% in 2020 in this country.

Chris Swonger, president and CEO of Discus, said, “Tariffs and the pandemic left a trail of destruction in the on-trade in 2020.” Swonger added that the modernization of the market went from “online ordering, to cocktails to go” and will “aid the recovery of restaurants, bars and craft distilleries.”

In the U.S., 18 states have introduced legislation to make the sale of cocktails to go permanent. Some states have also called for making direct-to-consumer delivery of alcoholic beverages permanent.


Significant increase in the super-premium sector

Discus also noted a significant increase in the super premium alcohol sector. Sales in this sector accounted for a 40% increase in revenue in 2020.

American whiskey sales in the country increased by 8.2% last year. There was an increase of US$327 million to US$4.3 billion. Discus noted that rye whiskey was a “major component” of the overall growth of the American whiskey category. Its sales increased 16.9%, or $40 million, to $275 million.

Tequila and mezcal sales were also up 17.4%. Mezcal alone grew 7% to $124 million.

Cognac also posted strong double-digit growth (21.3%). Sales reached US$2.4 billion.

Meanwhile, sales of premixed cocktails, driven by ready-to-drink products, rose 39.1% to $489 million.


Don’t drink and drive. Enjoy responsibly.


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