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Pennsylvania Now Biggest Control State For Spirits As It Passes Michigan

May 3, 2011

Pennsylvania (+3.6% to 6.8 million cases) passed Michigan (+1.4% to 6.7 million cases) in 2010 to become the largest control state by spirits volume and dollar sales.

In Pennsylvania, value increased 2% to approximately $1.03 billion in 2010. Trends were healthy in the Keystone State, as customers traded up to super-premium spirits with growth of 4.4% in that tier during the year-end holiday season. “The upswing toward higher price points has continued into 2011,” says Patrick Stapleton, chairman, Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

In Pennsylvania, 2010 began much like 2009, with customers trading to larger package units, especially the 1.75-liter size. “Growth in value spirits and larger packages slowed during the course of the year as more customers traded up into super-premium spirits,” Stapleton says. “The fear that the recent recession would prevent strong growth in super-premium and other higher price spirits appears to be unfounded.”

While spirits volume was up in Michigan, dollar sales were relatively flat at $940.2 million for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, as the Wolverine State experienced high unemployment. The strength of the tourism and hospitality sector, one of Michigan’s top three industries, helped fuel spirits volume growth. “Spirits sales are an important component of tourism dollars, and they did not seem to be adversely impacted by the economy,” observes Nida Samona, chairperson, Michigan Liquor Control Commission. “This is an industry that grows steadily as creative promotions and selection of products grow.”

Distilled Spirits – Top Five Control States
(millions of nine-liter cases)
Percent Market Share2
Rank State 2009 2010 Change2 2009 2010
1 Pennsylvania 6.59 6.83 3.6% 14.2% 14.5%
2 Michigan 6.64 6.73 1.4% 14.3% 14.3%
3 Ohio 4.50 4.62 2.5% 9.7% 9.8%
4 North Carolina 4.48 4.57 2.0% 9.7% 9.7%
5 Washington 4.14 4.12 -0.5% 9.0% 8.7%
Total Top 5 26.35 26.87 2.0% 57.0% 56.9%
Other States 19.90 20.34 2.2% 43.0% 43.1%
Total Control1 46.25 47.20 2.1% 100.0% 100.0%

1 addition of columns may not agree due to rounding

2 based on unrounded data

Source: NABCA

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