"In this modern, experience-driven on-premise environment, premiumization is evident in all categories, however no category highlights this more than spirits.” "High-end" spirits now account for 55% of total spirits volume and 62% of dollar sales, a 3.2% increase from last year, bringing $807 million to the channel, according to Nielsen. Ultra-Premium Spirits are growing at the fastest pace (+5% in dollar sales). Premium and ultra-premium rum, whisky and tequila have all added to the total spirits growth. In contrast, middle- and valued-priced spirits combined grew less than 1% in dollar sales in the period.
A similar trend is occurring in off-premise consumption where sales of spirits are registering good growth. As more consumers shop and buy in different ways and in different places, discretionary categories like adult beverages have to work even harder to be as easily accessible and prominent in the newer channels and retailers where shoppers are shifting to. Continued growth in spirits, the category has overtaken beer for the first time as the most valuable on-premise category." Volume sales of beer struggled the most in the overall alcohol category with on-premise consumption taking the biggest dip over the same one-year period, with off-premise dollar sales of beer increased slightly for the past year.
Wine has had a solid year of growth in both on-premise and off-premise channels. France, New Zealand and Italy are the leading import countries, while Oregon is a top performer in domestic wine. Wine is leading off-premise volume gains for at-home consumption. Red wine is also outperforming white in on-premise sales, but red blends have tumbled after several years of rapid growth in off-premise channels.
The Nielsen figures cover US spending on alcohol in both the on- and off-trade setting between October 2016 and October 2017. The report found that spirits were the ‘growth leader’ over that period, with sales increasing faster than wine and beer.