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Control State Spirits Volume Up 4% Through March

April 29, 2021

After a healthy 7.5% rise in calendar year 2020, spirits volumes in control states have decelerated somewhat so far this year, according to recent data from the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA). The month of March itself increased less than 3%, compared to the same month of last year, bringing the year-to-date gain down to a combined 4.2% for the 18 control jurisdictions. NABCA markets comprised nearly 24% of total U.S. spirits market volume last year, according to Impact Databank, which estimates that control states once again outperformed licensed-jurisdictions in 2020.

The full impact of the pandemic has yet to be fully ascertained, but each of the five largest control states by volume posted gains year-to-date. Last year, Michigan was the sixth-largest spirits-consuming state overall—according to Impact Databank—while Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Ohio ranked 8th, 9th and 10th, respectively. The fastest-growing major segments by volume in control states in the first quarter of 2021 were pre-packaged cocktails (+45%), Tequila (+26%) and Cognac (+25%)—according to NABCA—while the largest overall category, vodka, fell 3%.

Sazerac leads all spirits marketers in control states with over 17.5% volume share for the first three months of 2021, followed closely by Diageo, at nearly 15% share. Diageo is still far and away the largest spirits company in the U.S. overall, and had nearly double the retail value of No.-2 Beam Suntory last year, according to Impact Databank. Proximo Spirits was the fastest grower among the 10 largest suppliers in NABCA year-to-date with a 20% gain, largely due to a 25% surge by Jose Cuervo Especial Silver Tequila and continued strong performances from pre-packaged cocktails.—Juan Banaag

Top 10 Spirits Marketers in Control States, YTD Through March
(millions of cases)
Rank Company YTD Through
March 2020
YTD Through
March 2021
1 Sazerac2 2.32 2.39 2.9%
2 Diageo 1.81 1.92 6.5%
3 Beam Suntory 1.23 1.27 3.4%
4 Heaven Hill Brands 1.16 1.08 -7.2%
5 Pernod Ricard USA 0.73 0.77 5.5%
6 Bacardi USA 0.65 0.72 10.6%
7 Fifth Generation 0.54 0.57 3.9%
8 Proximo Spirits 0.44 0.53 19.7%
9 E.&J. Distillers3 0.43 0.49 14.2%
10 Brown-Forman 0.47 0.48 3.4%
Total Top 104 9.77 10.21 4.5%
1 Based on unrounded data
2 Includes 375 Park Ave and Gemini
3 Includes North Wales
4 Addition of columns may not agree due to rounding
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