America’s Liquor Cabinets Are Seeing A Lot Of Action

Image courtesy of Caleb Sommerville

If you’ve been heading for your liquor cabinet more often than the beer fridge lately, you’re not alone: For the seventh year in a row, the spirits industry chipped away at beer’s market share.

According to data released today from the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, booze is enjoying continued popularity. Spirit suppliers’ sales to wholesalers went up 5.4% to $25.2 billion last year, while sales volume grew 2.4% to 220 million cases.

So how much did consumers end up spending on booze in 2016? According to the Council’s estimates, around $78 billion.

This boom in spirits is due to “new innovations” aimed at “a growing audience of adult millennials,” said Distilled Spirits Council President and CEO Kraig R. Naasz, “and they are responding by purchasing and enjoying our products.”

American whiskey — including bourbon — has had growing sales for 10 years, and this year was no different: It led the pack with a 6.8% boost in sales volume to 21.8 million cases, and sales to wholesalers up 7.7% to 3.1 billion

Though whiskey is still gaining new fans, vodka sales represent one-third of all spirits volumes, with a 2.4% uptick for 69.8 million cases. Tequila is also doing well, with volumes up 7.1% to 15.9 million cases.

Why is everyone drinking so much? According to the Council: American whiskey is trendy and has plenty of room for growth; millennials love cocktails; spirits “fit nicely into the trend of consumer interest in brands with authentic, interesting backstories”; local distilleries are modernizing and gaining new fans; and spirits “have become a fixture in popular culture and are part of the norm.”

[via Chicago Tribune]

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