SPIRITS CONTINUE TO GROW
IT WASN’T A BANNER third quarter for any of the beverage alcohol categories. According to industry data analyst group GuestMetrics, all three alcohol categories had their weakest volume performance thus far in the year in the third quarter. Spirits volumes were -2.4% in the first quarter, improved to -1.4% in the second, softened to -3.1% in the third and were even softer at -3.5% during the most recent four weeks. “Despite the weak volumes for spirits thus far in the third quarter,” GuestMetrics reported, “spirits nonetheless continues to gain share of overall alcohol mix, coming primarily at the expense of beer. During the third quarter, wine gained O.3 points of y/y (year-to-year) alcohol mix and spirits gained O.2 points, while beer lost nearly O.6 points. Brown spirits continued to solidly out-perform clear spirits in the third quarter. In terms of y/y volume growth: Bourbons/Blends +16%, Irish +6% (though softened from +12-13% growth earlier), Brandy/Cognac -2%, Scotch -5%, Gin -4%, Tequila -3%, Canadian -7%, Vodka -8% (much softer than in off-premise), Rum -1O%, and Cordials -15%. GuestMetrics classifies the various flavored whiskies in Bourbons/Blends and Irish. In terms of y/y gains in share of the overall spirits category among the 9OO+ spirits suppliers GuestMetrics tracks, Sazerac posted the largest gain in the third quarter share at +1.7 points, Fifth Generation gained +O.6 points and Beam gained +O.2 points. Sazerac and Fifth Generation are both continuing to pick up momentum relative to the rest of the spirits category, posting even larger gains of share during the most recent four weeks.