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Impact Databank: Spirits’ Premium And Above Tier Driving Industry Growth

November 1, 2021

While the overall spirits category has slowed down notably in 2021 after last year’s pandemic-driven surge, brands priced at least $25 a 750-ml. bottle have maintained their strong momentum. In dollar terms, Hennessy Cognac was the top-selling brand in the U.S. last year, one of only two spirits—along with Tito’s vodka—to exceed $2 billion by retail value, according to The U.S. Spirits Market: Shanken’s Impact Databank Review & Forecast, 2021 Edition.

Off-premise, total spirits dollars grew just 1.5% in Nielsen channels for the 40-week period ending October 9—and the category fell 0.8% in volume terms. However, premium-priced brands (averaging $18.44 a 750-ml. bottle) grew a solid 5.9% by volume and 2% in dollar terms year-to-date, while ultra-premium-priced spirits (averaging $68.98), surged 24% and 28% by volume and value, respectively—led by ultra-premium Tequila ($76.76 on average) and ultra-premium whiskies ($69.86 on average).

Among the 50 largest-selling spirits in IRI channels for the 52-week period ending October 3, the fastest-growing brands were all super-premium-priced Tequila labels—Teramana (+428% in dollar terms), Casamigos (+61%), and Don Julio (+45%). Last year, $25 and over Tequila brands accounted for over half of the category’s volume, according to Impact Databank’s 296-page report—the third-highest share among all spirits sectors, behind only Cognac and imported whiskies.

According to NABCA, among the 25 largest-selling brands in control states, the fastest-growing spirits year-to-date through September were also priced at least $25 a 750-ml. bottle, including Jameson Irish whiskey (+20% by volume) and Patrón Silver Tequila (+19%). Spirits volumes in control states advanced 4% in September to bring growth to a cumulative 5.3% year-to-date. Overall, control states comprised just over 23% of the total spirits market in the U.S. last year, according to Impact Databank.—Juan Banaag

 

U.S.—Top 10 Super-Premium Spirits1
Rank Brand Company Origin/Type Total 2020
Case Volume2
2021 YTD
Percent Change
in Control States3
1 Crown Royal4 Diageo Canadian Whisky 7,295 6.9%
2 Hennessy Moët Hennessy Cognac 5,135 -9.0%
3 Jameson Pernod Ricard Irish Whiskey 3,580 17.3%
4 Patrón Bacardi Tequila 2,692 16.6%
5 Grey Goose4 Bacardi Imported Vodka 2,063 19.5%
6 Maker’s Mark Beam Suntory Bourbon 1,988 18.0%
7 Johnnie Walker Diageo Scotch Whisky 1,860 4.2%
8 Bulleit Diageo Bourbon/Rye 1,545 9.0%
9 1800 Proximo Spirits Tequila 1,531 18.9%
10 Baileys Diageo Imported Liqueur 1,515 8.4%
Total Top 10 29,202 8.1%
1 $25 and over a 750-ml.
2 Thousands of nine liter cases.
3 Year to date through September.
4 Includes flavors.

Source: NABCA and IMPACT DATABANK © 2021

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