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Distilled Spirits Consumption Continues to Grow as U.S. Faces New Challenges, According to the 2022 Liquor Handbook

Distilled Spirits Consumption Continues to Grow as U.S. Faces New Challenges, According to the 2022 Liquor Handbook

Minneapolis, Minn., (August 4, 2022) — The year 2021 saw the U.S. looking at Covid-19 in the rear-view mirror but faced new challenges to supply chains that resulted in product shortages and price increases.  Nevertheless, the industry experienced its 24th consecutive year of growth, with 10 of the 12 distilled spirit categories posting growth.

According to the Beverage Information Group’s 2022 Liquor Handbook, the consumption of distilled spirits increased by 4.5% to 263.1 million 9-liter cases, continuing its trend to take market share from the wine and beer categories. 

“The premiumization trend accelerated in 2021 as interest in drinking high-end products at home and at on-premise venues benefited the spirits category”, according to Marina Velez, Research Director for the Beverage Information Group. “Several legislative victories, most notably the ending of tariff wars between the U.S. and the European Union contributed to more international movement of product including Scotches and Irish Whiskies among others.”

Vodka remains the leading category at almost 80 million 9-liter cases, however growth slowed to just 0.5% and losing -1.3% of distilled spirits share.  Tito’s Handmade Vodka remains the category leader up 6.4% to 10.4 million cases but showing slower growth than in the prior year which it was up almost 18%.  In contrast, the Ready-to-Drink category exploded by 35.5% growing to 14 million 9-liter cases, up from 10.6 million the prior year.  RTDs is the leading growth category.

Tequila, the second leading category by growth and only 1 of 3 categories to experience double digit growth in 2021, grew 14.2% to 24.7 million 9-liter cases.  Tequila has been growing for the last 5 years and now represents 9.4% share of the entire distilled spirits market, surpassing the rum category to become the 4th largest spirits category. Most of the leading brands posted volume growth with almost half at double-digit increases. The top ten leading brands grew an average of 26.2%. Notably Teremana, Casamigos, Espolòn, Don Julio and El Jimador reached growth levels over 15%. Jose Cuervo remains the brand leader with year-over growth of a modest 2.5% to 4.8 million 9-liter cases.  Despite a nationwide shortage of Patrón, the #2 ranked brand managed 6.8% growth in 2021.

Irish Whiskey, with just 2.1% of the distilled spirits category showed an impressive gain of 12.3%, topping out at 5.4 million cases, with Jameson as the category leader with 4.0 million cases and exhibiting year-over growth of 13.7%.

About the 2022 Liquor Handbook

The Beverage Information Group’s 2022 Liquor Handbook is the most comprehensive source of information on U.S. spirits and sales trends. It includes consumption and projection information by category and by market, tracks leading brands, and reports historical data.

You may order this publications at or by contacting Sherai Falcon at or 763-383-4400 ext. 4423.


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