Spirits Industry Update Week of July 19th
Highlight: Non-alcoholic beverages continue surge in popularity
One of the fastest growing sectors in the entire beverage industry, sales of non and low alcohol beverage products in the United States rose 35% and hit $1.7 billion in sales in 2020, according to IWSR data. The pandemic has only strengthened the trend of people putting their health first, as consumers continue to gravitate towards alcohol alternatives.
From 2016-2020 in the United States, non-alcoholic spirits sales were up almost 300% - and up 79% last year alone. YTD, non-alcoholic beer is up 28% - second only to hard-seltzer among malt-based products – while non-alcoholic wine is up over 40% YTD.
Diageo, the world’s largest spirits company, has been looking to capitalize on the trend by purchasing stakes in multiple alcohol-free spirits companies over the last several years. The company purchased a majority stake in Seedlip in 2019 and bought into Ritual Beverage Co. in 2020.
Champagne has surged in 2021 after a slower, but better than expected 2020. Through the first four months of 2021, shipments from France to the United States are up 50%, with top brands Veuve Clicquot and Moet & Chandon making up two-thirds of the US champagne market. Even as the pandemic disrupted global markets last year, champagne in the United States actually did quite well – with US depletions falling only 2.5% in 2020, while four of the top brands surprisingly posted gains.
Vermont based whiskey brand Whistle Pig has introduced ‘Roadstock Rye’ whiskey – a collaboration with Jordan Winery and Firestone Walker Brewery. The whiskey comes in at 43% ABV and retails for around $70 a bottle at select liquor stores. Roadstock Rye is finished in Bordeaux Blend casks from Jordan Winery in Sonoma and Imperial Stout, Imperial Blonde ale and Experimental Ale barrels from Firestone Walker Brewery.
Moet Hennessy and Campari Group have announced they are partnering in a joint venture aimed at creating a larger presence in the premium spirits e-commerce market of Europe. Campari is contributing its stake in Tannico, an Italian e-commerce spirits platform, to the JV – Tannico also owns French e-commerce wine and spirits platform Ventealapropriete.com. The JV is expected to be finalized after customary regulatory requirements are completed.