The beverage alcohol industry continues to build on decades of growth. In 2015, suppliers reacted to changing consumer tastes with new product introductions and targeted promotions. As a result, beer, wine and spirits sales volume outpaced the growth of overall consumer package goods (CPG) — increasing by 2.16 percent, compared to 0.2 percent for CPG. Spirits and wine sales growth outpaced beer according to the Beverage Information Group’s Handbook Advance 2016 — the earliest and most complete data, statistics and analysis in the industry, reporting on beverage alcohol sales and consumption.
Premium products led the way in 2015 as consumer loyalty continued to decline and occasion-based buying increased. More than 40 percent of consumers drank across categories (beer, wine and spirits), creating a huge opportunity for brands to grow share in the $213 billion beverage alcohol market.
Capitalizing on American whiskey’s resurgence, distilled spirits grew in volume for the 19th consecutive year, increasing by 2.3 percent to 215 million 9-liter cases. The domestic and international demand for American Whiskeys caused U.S. spirits exports to more than double over the past decade (to $1.56B in 2015). All distilled spirits categories saw growth in 2015 — with the exception of rum — which declined 1.5 percent.
The wine category saw moderate growth, increasing in overall market share by 0.2 percent to $80 billion. Several wine categories experienced considerable volume increases, including 1.8 percent for table wine and 7.2 percent for sangria, while sparkling wine saw nearly double-digit growth thanks to prosecco. Consumers cite wine as their go-to option for celebrating special occasions, and wine drinkers continue to trade up to premium brands.
While beer’s overall share of the beverage alcohol market decreased for the second straight year, the craft beer boom shows no sign of slowing, with consumers choosing local brews more often than national brands. The growth in on-premise consumption helped launch new products and kept overall beer sales from falling further.
For The Handbook Advance 2016 hard copy or PDF edition, head to this website. It clocks in at a not-so-cheap $995.