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Spirits Growth Accelerates In Control States

July 9, 2021

After a modest first quarter, spirits volume has accelerated the past two months in the U.S. market’s 18 control jurisdictions to bring gains up to 7.8% cumulatively in the year-to-date through May, according to the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA). Primarily due to stocking-up related to the pandemic, May 2021’s rolling 12-month volume increase of 8.7% is the fastest 12-month growth rate ever reported by NABCA. Control states comprised nearly 24% of total U.S. spirits market volume last year—according to Impact Databank—as control jurisdictions once again outperformed all license states in 2020.

Of the five largest control states by volume, only No.-1 Michigan (-0.1%) posted a year-to-date loss through May. 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 through the first five months of 2021 were pre-packaged cocktails (+39.6%), Tequila (+31.6%), cordials/liqueurs (+19.9%), Cognac (+19.1%) and Irish whiskey (+17.7%), as all major spirits categories registered year-to-date gains, according to NABCA.

Among the 20 largest-selling spirits in control states, Patrón Silver Tequila (+52%) was the fastest-growing brand year-to-date. E.&J. Gallo was the fastest-growing spirits marketer among the top 10 in NABCA markets with a 15.7% gain year-to-date, largely due to the continued popularity of High Noon Sun Sips seltzer and New Amsterdam Pink Whitney vodka.—Juan Banaag

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