NORWALK, Conn. (PRNewswire) — As the economy continues to expand, premium and super-premium distilled spirits are coming back stronger than ever. This premiumization trend occurring in every segment of the beverage alcohol industry has the consumer drinking less, but better. According to the Beverage Information & Insights Group's 2014 Liquor Handbook, this trend resulted in slower sales growth, with the industry posting a gain of just 2.2 percent by volume to end 2013 at 210 million 9-liter cases.
Although the industry overall experienced diminished growth, most of the individual distilled spirits categories experienced upticks — with a few exceptions. Unlike Straight Whiskey, Blended Whiskey has been unable to reinvent itself, resulting in declining sales and marketers focusing on categories with higher potential. Gin also lost volume because high-end offerings, which comprise the majority of the category's growth, were not large enough to make up for the deficit overall. Finally, pressure on Prepared Cocktails to create new products, combined with the slowing of the Skinnygirl brand, resulted in the category losing 9.1 percent.
Consumer spending habits continue to evolve in restaurants and bars as well, resulting in a decrease in volume and modest increase in dollars.
"Although the on-premise volume fell 1.8 percent, dollars increased 2 percent due to consumers drinking less, but making the most of their occasions by drinking better products," says Adam Rogers, Manager of Information, Beverage Information & Insights Group, Norwalk, Conn. "Suppliers continue to focus on Millennials because they are responsible for establishing the trends that have spurred growth in the premium-and-above price points."
The 2014 Liquor Handbook is the most comprehensive source of information on U.S. spirits and sales trends. It includes consumption and projection information by category and by market, tracks leading brands and reports historical data.
The 2014 Liquor Handbook is $945; handbook with CD is $1,145. Shipping and handling is $15 for U.S. orders; $25 for international orders. The publications can be purchased at www.bevinfostore.com  or by calling Cynthia Porter at (630)762-8709.
About the Beverage Information & Insights Group
The Beverage Information & Insights Group serves all segments of the beverage alcohol industry through Cheers, Beverage Dynamics and StateWays magazines, Handbooks, Beverage Research and www.bevinfogroup.com .
According to the Beverage Information & Insights Group's 2014 Liquor Handbook, premium distilled spirits are coming back strong in today's economy. Consumers seem to be drinking less in general, but when they do indulge, they enjoy premium brands.