Diving into the World of Craft Spirits as they Grow at a Rapid Pace

guestMETRICSAccording to GuestMetrics, while craft spirits brands account for a relatively small portion of the overall spirits category on-premise, they are growing at a rapid pace. 

“In analyzing the nearly 600 craft spirits suppliers we track in our system, our data indicates they have been growing at a double digit clip thus far in 2013 in the on-premise channel, and are gaining momentum.  Craft spirits volumes grew about +26% in 1Q13 compared to the same period in the prior year, and looking at 2Q13 through June 16th, volume growth accelerated further to about +29%.  This is a strong out-performance versus mainstream spirits brands, which saw on-premise volumes down -2.0% during 1Q13, though there was a slight improvement to -1.1% in 2Q13 to-date.  The net result of this is that craft spirits brands’ volume share of the overall on-premise spirits category has expanded fairly rapidly, from 2.4% in 2012 to 2.6% in 1Q13, and is about 3.0% in 2Q13 to-date,” said Bill Pecoriello, CEO of GuestMetrics LLC.  “Furthermore, in analyzing the growth in the actual number of craft spirits brands sold in our on-premise universe for the first half of 2013 versus the same period in 2012, we see the number has expanded by 7.6%.  Given volumes are up about 27% during that time, we see this as a healthy sign for the underlying demand for craft spirits, given the growth is not just being driven by brand proliferation, and is likely a sign there is a lot of runway left for growth.”

“Additionally, we also analyzed which specific categories the craft brands are strongest in,” said Peter Reidhead, VP of Strategy and Insights at GuestMetrics.  “In terms of volume share of overall spirits, craft’s share is highest at 4.9% in Tequila, then 3.8% in Cordials, 3.5% in Vodka, 3.5% in Brandy/Cognac, 2.0% in Bourbons/Blends, 1.6% in Rum, 1.3% in Gin, and had a negligible volume share in Scotch, Irish, and Canadian.”

“While craft spirits are a relatively small portion of the overall spirits category with about a 3-share of total volumes in on-premise, given the competitive nature of the alcohol industry and the generally sluggish growth being experienced in overall on-premise, the strong trends for craft spirits could be a source for incremental growth for both suppliers and operators as we head further into the summer season,” said Brian Barrett, President of GuestMetrics. 



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