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Premium Products Continue to Drive Distilled Spirits, According to the 2019 Liquor Handbook

Premium Products Continue to Drive Distilled Spirits, According to the 2019 Liquor Handbook

Norwalk, Conn., (Aug. 14, 2019) –  The distilled spirits industry posted another increase in 2018, marking its 21st consecutive year of volume growth, according to the Beverage Information Group’s 2019 Liquor Handbook. The spirits segment ended the year up 2.0%, reaching 232.2 million 9-liter cases.

As with last year, consumers’ ongoing interest in high-end and superpremium products across the spirits segments—at home and within on-premise venues—has been a key factor in boosting consumption. Innovation in new product offerings and line extensions that resonate with current consumer preferences and changing tastes have also influenced spirits category growth.

The popularity of brown spirits, especially straight whiskeys and bourbons, continues to climb. Domestic whiskey brands have been successfully in expanding their core consumer base while also attracting new consumers into the category via gentler flavored offerings. The tequila, Cognac and Irish whiskey categories also posted significant gains in 2018.

As for popular liquor brands, Tito's Handmade Vodka and Jameson Irish whiskey were among those attaining notable growth levels. Tito’s rose by more than 1 million cases, surpassing Bacardi to become the U.S. market’s number-two spirits brand, behind Smirnoff. Tito’s has posted average growth of 45.3% from 2013 to 2018—more than doubling in size in the past three years and showing no sign of slowing.

Crown Royal Canadian whisky, the Jim Beam family of bourbons and Jack Daniel’s also remained in growth mode last year. Whisk(e)y brands in particular capture the interest of consumers who appreciate the heritage background and authenticity, which drives their purchasing behavior.

The way that Millennials perceive and consume beverage alcohol has significantly affected the industry. Suppliers have had to adapt to the fast-changing nature of the business and strive to position brands that resonate as authentic to succeed and win consumers’ drinking occasions. 

About the 2019 Liquor Handbook

The Beverage Information Group’s 2019 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. The publications can be purchased at or by contacting Marybeth Came at or  763-383-4400 ext. 2216.



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