After Record Year, PLCB Chairman Says Premiumization Will Be Key To Further GainsJuly 6, 2011
Following yesterday’s announcement of a 4% sales increase to $1.96 billion in the year through June at the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB), chairman Patrick “P.J.” Stapleton III told Shanken News Daily that future growth will depend on consumer trading-up patterns. “In the past year, most of the growth came from the premium to budget level,” Stapleton said, adding that he hasn’t seen much premiumization in recent months. Still, the new fiscal year has started off strongly. “The first weekend of July was very encouraging,” he said. “On a same-store comparison with last year, we were up 8.3%. So there are signs that we’ll have another very good year, but the extent of that will depend on consumer buying patterns and whether they’re willing to trade up.”
Pennsylvania overtook Michigan as the top spirits control state in calendar 2010 and remains by far the largest control market for wine, which accounts for around half of its dollar sales. The PLCB’s Chairman’s Selection premium wine program—up 19% to over $50 million in the fiscal year—is growing in popularity. Chairman’s Selection wines range from $8 to over $100—with wines normally selling for $20-$50 often discounted to between $10-$15 within the program. Stapleton said the $10-$15 range continues to be the sweet spot for wine market growth in the Keystone State. He added that the PLCB has abandoned plans to extend its supermarket wine kiosk program into spirits, acknowledging that the kiosk initiative has had a “rocky road” so far.Subscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning.