GuestMetrics: Craft Spirits the Big Winner in 2015

Image Source: Craft Spirits Carnival

Leading data analytics firm GuestMetrics tracks daily consumer spending in over 40,000 on-premise locations spanning bars, restaurants, hotels and stadiums. Their sourcing of varied combinations of structured and unstructured data, cleansing and mapping that data, analyzing it, and then visualizing it, the firm turns information into actionable business intelligence. Brendan Reilly, the CEO of GuestMetrics, recently published a detailed industry report regarding 2015. To view the report in its entirety, click here

Beer unit growth and dollar sales were down throughout 2015:

  • Beer: Beer unit growth was -4.7% for FY15 – slowing to -4.8% during 4Q15 and -6.2% during the latest four weeks ending 12/27 – which was partially hit by the timing of Christmas falling on a Friday. Beer dollar sales were down 1.8% for FY15 driven by 2.9% price/mix.
  • Beer Segments: Craft unit volume declined during 2015 (-2.3% y/y for FY15), but still gained share from other categories (+0.8 ppts for FY15);  Premium Lights were the major share donors (-1.1 ppts for FY15); Import’s performance improved throughout the year (up +0.2 ppts in 4Q15/L4W), but still ended the year nearly flat (-0.1 ppts for FY15);  while Cider’s performance declined throughout the year (0.0 ppts during 4Q15) ending the year gaining slightly (+0.1 ppts for FY 15).

Spirits dollar sales were up but experienced almost flat unit volume. Tito’s boosted Vodka while Tequila was the biggest clear spirits gainer. Gin grew but Rum experienced a decline. In terms of dark spirits, Irish proved to be the big gainer, Scotch declined, and Canadian gained. Domestic Craft Spirits ended the year at just over 10 percent of spirits.

  • Overall Spirits: Spirits ended the year with nearly flat unit volume (-0.3% y/y FY15, -1.4% during the latest four weeks ending 12/27).  Spirits dollar sales were up 2.5% for FY15 driven by 2.8% price/mix.
  • Spirits Categories: Performance of clear spirits improved in 2015 – Vodka ended the year up +0.3 ppts (propelled by Tito’s), Tequila was the biggest category gainer (+0.8 ppts), Gin also grew share (+0.2 ppts), while Rum declined (-0.4 ppts). Irish was the major dark spirits gainer (+0.6 ppts), while Fireball was a significant drag on the Bourbons, Blends category (-0.9 ppts). Canadians and Brandy/Cognac gained (+0.2/+0.1 ppts), while Scotch declined (-0.1 ppts).
  • Craft Spirits: Domestic Craft Spirits were up nearly +40% y/y during FY15, ending the year at just over 10% of spirits (latest four weeks ending 12/27).

Wine dollar sales were up 0.1 percent, and the best performing wines for 2015 included Sauvignon Blanc, Prosecco , and Cabernet Sauvignon.

  • Overall Wine:  Wine unit volumes were -4.1% y/y during the latest four weeks, versus -2.4% for FY15. Wine dollar sales were up 0.1% for FY15 driven by price/mix up 2.4%.
  • Wine Varietals: The biggest 2015 gainers were Sauvignon Blanc, Prosecco, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Major donors were Merlot, Riesling, and Malbec.

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