Spirits in the House: Sales of Distilled Liquor Rises
Drinking at home became more popular last year after liquor sales posted an increase for the twelfth straight year.
According to the Beverage Information Group, sales of distilled spirits for home consumption rose 1.6 percent. That increase was slightly less than the previous year's, however.
The information group released the news this week in the 2010 Liquor Handbook, a publication about the adult-beverage industry.
Even though growth has pulled back slightly due to the recessionary environment, the distilled spirits business remains healthy. The drivers for slow growth continue to be a shift to off-premise consumption, the economic dip and value-priced offerings.
There has been a sustained shift in consumption patterns away from bars and restaurants and more towards at-home consumption. The on-premise segment of the market has dropped for two consecutive years with a 3.3 percent decline in 2009.
Another continued trend cited in the 2010 Liquor Handbook is that domestic spirits are outpacing imports for the second consecutive year. Total imported spirits rose 1.4 percent in 2009 to 75.3 million cases compared with slightly faster growth for domestics (1.8 percent to 113.3 million). Although imports have lost share, its contribution to the market has increased since 1999 due in part to the fact that a majority of spirits at higher price points are imported offerings.
"Due to the economic environment, we have seen a 'trading down effect' with more consumption in lower-priced tiers," says Eric Schmidt, manager of information services for the Beverage Information Group. "As a result, we are seeing heavy price fighting and couponing taking place in order for suppliers to maintain growth and share."
In total, over 188 million 9-liter cases of spirits were sold in 2009.