Bev-Al Category Trends Continue According to Handbook Advance 2017

Norwalk, Conn., (March 21, 2017) — The distilled spirits, wine and beer industries continued to adapt to consumers’ changing attitudes towards beverage alcohol.  Industry-wide premiumization kept pace with consumer interest in high-quality products.  And Millennials continued to drive expansion and migrate toward brands with heritage, authenticity and quality.

Distilled spirits achieved its 20th consecutive year of steady volume growth, up about 2%. The wine category advanced 2.2%, while beer managed to reverse its string of negative annual performances with negligible growth of 0.1%, according to the Beverage Information Group’s Handbook Advance 2017

American whiskey remained a hot category.  It achieved 5.3% growth, as consumers continue to buy brown spirits of all varieties.  Imported whiskey rode the wave of its American cousins, with Irish whiskey surging 17.8% to surpass 3 million cases.

Of non-whiskey categories, tequila increased the most at 5.0%.  Vodka, which represents 33% of all distilled spirits, managed a meager 1% growth.  Rum and gin reported decreases of 1%.

The wine category saw strong growth, increasing in overall market share by 2.2% to 339.3 million 9-liter cases, valued at $60 billion.  The advance was led by a 7.8% upsurge in consumption of sparkling wines, and a 1.8% growth in table wines.  Millennials, which comprise nearly half of all wine drinkers, are willing to try higher-priced table wines while demonstrating increased desire for experimentation. 

Beer’s share of the beverage alcohol market posted a mere 0.1% increase, suspending declines posted in recent years.  Advances in the craft, imported, super premium/premium and FMB categories offset declines in the remaining categories.  The light beer category, which commands the largest share with 1.24 billion 2.25-gallon cases sold, continued its decline, losing 3.9% — its largest annual decline. 

About the Handbook Advance

The Handbook Advance provides the earliest and most complete data, statistics and analysis in the industry, reporting on preliminary projections of 2016 beverage alcohol sales and consumption.

The Handbook Advance 2017 hard copy or PDF edition is $995; Handbook/PDF with CD is $1,595 plus shipping.  To purchase go to  www.bevinfostore.com or call Marybeth Came at (203) 855-8499 Ext. 2251.