Spirit sales hit a record-high of $37.6 billion in 2022 and marked a 5.1 percent increase year-over-year, according to a press release from the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS). Sales volume also increased by 4.8 percent to 305 million 9-liter cases.
Consumers’ increasing interest in cocktails and a visitor rebound in the on-premise sector contribute to these record-high numbers. Preferences in liquor categories are slightly evolving, as vodka sales by volume dropped by 1.5 percent — and the total volume of all whiskey sales (77,882 9-liter cases) just barely eclipsed vodka (76,897 9-liter cases).
Tequila and mezcal sales skyrocketed, up 17.2 percent to a total of $6 billion. Vodka sales were flat year-over-year ($7.2 billion).
“Despite the tough economy, consumers continued to enjoy premium spirits and fine cocktails in 2022,” DISCUS CEO Chris Swonger states in the release. “Cocktail culture continues to thrive in the United States, supporting jobs in the distilling, hospitality, and agriculture sectors.”
The latest data could be a proverbial sigh of relief for the on-premise sector and a sign of recovery from Covid-19 shutdowns. While establishments showed “solid” revenue growth in 2022 compared to the previous two years, total sales volume at restaurants and bars was still 5 percent lower than in 2019.
“Year after year, the spirits sector has slowly gained market share by staying focused on our consumers, delivering innovative, high-end products, and advocating to level the playing field for spirits, beer, and wine products in the marketplace and legislative arena,” Swonger states. “As DISCUS celebrates its 50th anniversary, spirits taking the lead in revenue share represents a historic milestone for all leaders in the spirits industry, past and present, to toast.”
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