Americans drinking more spirits 2016 sales up 4.5 per cent to US$25.2 billion

Americans show spirit

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States has released its report on spirit sales for 2016 in the land of stars, stripes and Trump. The recent Wine Australia export report said Australian wine exports to the US were up 3 per cent in value to $458 million, with the average bottle price up 9 per cent to $3.95 a litre.

It’s not a lot, but upwards is better than backwards. The Spirits Council also reports an increase in sales, up 4.5 per cent to US$25.2 billion ($33 billion) and volume up 2.4 per cent to 220 million cases. Some stats from the report:

  • American whiskey (bourbon, Tennessee and rye) volume up 6.8 per cent to 21.8 million cases and revenues up 7.7 per cent to US$3.1 billion
  • Cognac volumes up 12.9 per cent to 5.1 million cases; revenues up 15.3 per cent to US$1.5 billion
  • Irish whiskey volumes up 18.7 per cent to 3.8 million cases; revenues up 19.8 per cent to US$795 million
  • Tequila volumes up 7.1 per cent to 15.9 million cases; revenues up 7.5 per cent to US$2.5 billion
  • Vodka volumes (which represent one-third of all spirits volumes) up 2.4 per cent to 69.8 million cases; revenues up 4.1 per cent to US$6 billion.

The 2016 top five export growth markets by value were:

  • Vietnam, up US$29.2 million to US$45.9 million
  • Spain, up US$18.6 million to US$104.1 million
  • France, up US$9.7 million to US$97.6 million
  • Singapore, up US$4.5 million to US$30.7 million
  • Romania, up US$2.4 million to US$10.6 million

Luxury pays rich rewards

The poor may be getting poorer but luxury goods are paying dividends. Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LMVH), terms itself “the world’s leading luxury products group” and has reported revenue of €37.6 billion ($52.7 billion) in 2016, an increase of 5 per cent over the previous year.

Leaving aside fashion and leather goods, perfumes and cosmetics, watches and jewellery, plus selective retailing, wines and spirits recorded a 5 per cent increase to €4.84 billion in sales with a profit increase of 10 per cent to €1.5 billion.

The LVMH comment on wine and spirit performance for 2016:

“The Wines & Spirits business group recorded an increase in organic revenue of 7 per cent. On a reported basis, revenue growth was 5 per cent. Profit from recurring operations increased by 10 per cent. With volumes up 3 per cent, solid growth continues for champagne and prestige cuvees performed particularly well.  Hennessy cognac enjoyed an excellent year with 10 per cent volume growth.  The American market is growing well and China saw better momentum after a tough 2015 due to destocking by distributors. Other spirits, Glenmorangie and Belvedere, continued their growth.”

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