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Control State Spirits Volume Up 7% In First Eight Months Of The Year

September 28, 2020

After double-digit gains in June and July, spirits volumes in control states eked out a collective 2% rise in the month of August, according to the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA). For the first two-thirds of the year, NABCA spirits volumes advanced 7% cumulatively, compared to a 3.7% increase in calendar 2019. Nine control states posted double-digit gains year-to-date through August, to more than offset the 14% decline in Pennsylvania.

Sazerac leads all spirits marketers in control states with over 16% volume share for the first eight months of 2020, followed closely by Diageo, at a nearly 15% share. Proximo was the fastest grower among the ten largest suppliers in NABCA with a 25% rise, largely due to a 45% surge by Jose Cuervo Especial Silver Tequila. Next-fastest was Fifth Generation Inc, makers of Tito’s vodka, the top-selling spirit in control states, with a 16% volume gain year-to-date. Tito’s is projected to surpass Smirnoff vodka to become the nation’s leading spirits brand overall by the end of the year by both volume and value, according to Impact Databank. Other fast-growing top 10 brands year to-date in control states include Hennessy Cognac (+34%) and New Amsterdam vodka (+26%).

In spite of large declines in Pennsylvania, which fully closed its state-owned retail stores for a period in the spring, four major categories posted double-digit gains year-to-date: domestic whiskies (+11.4%, including flavors), Tequila (+18.1%), brandy/Cognac (+14%), and pre-mixed cocktails (+42.4%).—Juan Banaag

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