Dollar sales numbers from Symphony IRI InfoScan monthly wine and spirits reports are in, and whiskey has risen to the No. 1 spot in the spirits category.
For the first time ever, whiskey passed vodka in dollar sales by approximately $1.5 million, according to the report, resulting in a 23.1% increase from the year prior. The perimeters of whiskey sales studied were 13 weeks leading up to Feb. 24, 2013. Sales at the end of that period reached $234.9 million.
Bump Williams Consulting says that the InfoScan data reflects a category growing from craft spirits, in fact, bourbon and Tennessee whiskey made up the largest segment within whiskey’s subcategories with an increase of 5.2%. Flavor varieties, such as honey, contribute largely to craft whiskey’s recent boost in success.
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey Whiskey, Wild Turkey American Honey and Barenjager’s Honey Bourbon all are great examples in terms of honey flavored varieties.
Natalie Tremellen, market analyst for Innova Market Insights, says that craft spirits are a natural progression from the success associated with craft beer. The spirits category is expected to grow even more in the next 5 to 10 years, an expected 5% to 7%.
“Consumers are looking for original flavors and a story behind their drink and are prepared to pay a premium for the experience,” she says.
Tremellen also lists a move toward more natural ingredients in spirits, and honey is the perfect match to meet consumers’ needs.