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Distilled Spirits Achieved Its 26th Consecutive Year of Steady Volume Growth, According to the 2024 Liquor Handbook

Distilled Spirits Achieved Its 26th Consecutive Year of Steady Volume Growth, According to the 2024 Liquor Handbook

Minneapolis, Minn., (June 25, 2024) — Distilled Spirits achieved its 26th consecutive year of steady volume growth in 2023, albeit at a decelerated pace versus the prior year’s performance. The category advanced by +3.4% to 300.4 million 9-liter cases. Spirits were the bright spot for the adult beverage market in 2023. The spirits segment increased 3.4% on average since 1998, and 4.9% on average in just the last five years, while significantly outperforming the wine and beer categories.

Spirits continue to steal share from beer, while growth in the spirits category continues driving the beverage alcohol industry forward more than beer or wine. Innovation, line extensions that resonate with consumers’ interest and changing tastes, and premium offerings, along with an increased focus on aged expressions continue to help elevate the category. What’s causing the overall slowdown in spirits? Key factors include inflation, falling consumer confidence and overstocking from the prior year at wholesalers and retailers.

Domestic spirits consumption in 2023 was up 6.9%, while imported spirits went down by -1.6%. Just three categories realized growth in 2023: Ready-to-Drink beverages (RTDs), Tequila (+5.6%) and Straight Whiskey (+0.4%). RTDs were the only category to attain double-digit growth (+35.0%). RTDs and Tequila were the only two segments to gain share of distilled spirits. RTDs have experienced steady case-volume growth since 2016, with major gains happening within the last three years. Compared to 2013, the percent change in RTD consumption for 2023 was a staggering 895.5%.

Tequila reached a new peak in the U.S. crossing 30 million cases for the first time in 2023, surpassing the straights category to become the third-largest spirits category. While growth levels decelerated versus the 2020 breakout year of unprecedented expansion, the RTD category still attained the biggest spirits share increase. At 17.5% share, RTDs were comfortably ahead of tequila and straight whiskey volume consumption for 2023. Just a decade ago (2013), RTDs represented 2.5% of the entire spirits industry.

Within the Top 100 Leading Brands of Distilled Spirits by Category, only six brands attained volume gains for the top 20 -- High Noon Sun Sips, Tito's Handmade Vodka, Fireball, New Amsterdam Vodka, Cutwater, and Monaco Cocktails. Generally, the ranking within the top 20 brands for 2023 remained consistent with 2022, with minor shifts within the list, indicating the stability of the spirits industry. Ready-to-Drink (RTD) brands High Noon Sun Sips, Monaco Cocktails, and Cutwater made significant advancements versus prior year by achieving double-digit growth. 

The spirits segment attributes the momentum partly to consumers buying more brands as they continued their at-home mixology movement started during the pandemic, and the ongoing recovery of the hospitality industry. Consumer interest in drinking high-end products at home and at on-premise establishments was also among the key factors boosting the spirits industry in the past year. Despite the difficult economic environment in 2023, consumers continued to enjoy premium spirits and fine cocktails.

About the 2024 Liquor Handbook

The Beverage Information Group’s 2024 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 the 2024 Liquor Handbook here or by contacting Sherai Falcon at or 763-383-4400 ext. 4423.

About the Company

EPG Specialty Information offers data-driven insights and analytical services specifically collected from first-party audience and measurement data generated independently, and from its affiliate, EPG Brand Acceleration. Recognized for its deep industry expertise, EPG works with businesses seeking actionable insights and solutions to achieve growth and profitability in their markets. Learn more at

about the author

Marina Velez

Research Director, EPG Specialty Information

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