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Premium price tiers drive sales across all US drinks categories, figures show

Premium price tiers were responsible for growth across all major alcohol categories in the US in 2022, preliminary data from IWSR Drinks Market Analysis has revealed.

pouring whisky into glass: Premium price tiers drive sales across all US drinks categories, figures show

Beer, cider, wine, spirits, and ready-to-drink (RTDs) beverages have all seen gains in the premium and above category in the US over the last year, IWSR data has shown.

Total volumes of wine and beer were both down 2% in 2022, with cider dropping 4%, but products in the premium and above category all saw gains. Premium cider saw the biggest hike, up 11%, while premium beer and wine climbed 4% and 6% respectively.

The overall US spirits category saw moderate gains in 2022, up 2%, but higher price tiers were up 13%, while RTDs showed moderate gains at less than 1% with premium+ up 38%.

“Economic uncertainty continued throughout 2022, ranging from inflation to talks of a recession to supply chain instability,” says Brandy Rand, chief strategy officer for IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, said that despite economic uncertainties caused by inflation, talks of recession and supply chain instability, “a recent IWSR consumer price sensitivity survey shows Americans feel confident about their finances at a personal level.”

Premiumisation is still driving all segments of beverage alcohol, despite industry wide price increases, the preliminary data has shown.

US spirits consumers in particular are trading up. A consumer price sensitivity survey by IWSR showed that overall, 33% of Americans said they had spent $50 or more on a bottle of alcohol in 2022, against just 24% in 2021.

“Another area where premiumisation is proving to be a key factor driving volume is at-home consumption,” says Rand. “With a vast majority of Americans consuming alcohol at home, 46% say they are likely to treat themselves to better quality drinks there, which is also beneficial for wine and beer.”

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