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DISCUS: Spirits’ Luxury-Level Momentum Ongoing

July 1, 2022

Luxury brands grew by 37% in the first quarter of the year compared to the same period last year, according to an analysis by the Distilled Spirits Council’s Luxury Brand Index, which tracks volume sales of spirits brands priced at $50 or more a 750-ml.

Numerous luxury categories showed dynamism over the first three months of 2022, including Cognac (+18%), Irish Whiskey (+15%), Scotch (+34%), and American Whiskey (+46%). Scotch’s rebound was due in part to the lifting of tariffs that hurt the category in the last several years. The standout however was luxury Tequila, which soared 63% in the quarter.

Trends also looked favorable over the longer-term, with overall luxury spirits sales up 23% over the last five years. American Whiskey led the way from this vantage point, having grown 46%, with Tequila just behind at 44% growth. Irish Whiskey and Cognac were up 16% and 17%, respectively, while Scotch improved by 7% and Japanese Whiskey grew 5%.

“The gradual uptick in on-premise cocktail occasions continued to drive premiumization trends into the first quarter of 2022,” said Christine LoCascio, DISCUS chief of public policy. “Consumers who chose luxury brands when experimenting with at-home cocktails during the height of the pandemic have maintained their preference for these special brands while enjoying spirits at bars and restaurants.”—Danny Sullivan

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