It was another positive year for the distilled spirits and wine industries, as each posted gains in both volume and dollar sales, although growth slowed from years past. The beer industry also saw success in some categories, but was unable to post its second year of increases overall. Slowed and declined growth may be attributed to factors such as decreased labor force participation and the government shutdown. These obstacles affected consumer confidence and spending, as well as halted the introduction of new products.
According to the Beverage Information Group’s Handbook Advance 2014, Distilled Spirits experienced its 17th year of growth, increasing 2.4%. Continued interest in super-premium products, increased advertising and modernization of spirits laws contributed to this growth. Straight Whiskey continues to garner interest from consumers as they are focused on brands with authenticity, history and a taste for American heritage.
The wine industry advanced to its 20th consecutive year of gains. New brands, line extensions and great harvests contributed to wine increasing 2.2%, landing at 326.0 million 9-liter cases. With more states offering direct-to-consumer shipping, these numbers are expected to increase.
The beer industry experienced positive results in high-end offerings such as craft beer, but those could not offset losses in the larger categories. Despite an increase in advertising, the year ended with a 1.6% decrease, bringing the level down to 2.8 billion 2.25-gallon cases.
“Craft beer’s momentum continues to build with no signs of slowing,” according to Adam Rogers, Manager of Information Services for the Beverage Information Group, Norwalk, Conn. “Today’s consumer seeks a brew that is distinctive, region-based and high-quality with a compelling story, and craft breweries are more than willing to provide it.”
The Handbook Advance 2014 hard copy or PDF edition is $945; Handbook with CD is $1,145. Shipping and handling is $15 for US orders, $25 for all other orders. They can be purchased at www.bevinfostore.com or by calling Cynthia Porter at (630) 762-8709.