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The Proof is in the…Proof

If you’ve been feeling a bit more “at home” lately and opting for what’s inside your liquor cabinet rather than your beef fridge, you aren’t drinking alone. For the seventh straight year, the spirits industry has chipped away at beer’s market share.

According to data released today by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, booze is enjoying continued popularity. Spirit suppliers’ sales to wholesalers went up 5.4% to $25.2 billion last year, while sales volume grew 2.4% to 220 million cases.

So how much did consumers end up spending on booze in 2016? According to the Council’s estimates, around $78 billion.

We believe that this spirit boom (we’re coining that, back off) must be due to the constant push and innovative nature aimed at newly adult millennials. As the times change, so do tastes, and the new fads and desires simply don’t value simple beers anymore (think: Bud and Coors, not so much the 28 dollar craft microbrews now readily available).

The Consumerist tells us that American whiskeys — including bourbon — has had growing sales for 10 years, and this year was no different: It led the pack with a 6.8% boost in sales volume to 21.8 million cases, and sales to wholesalers up 7.7% to 3.1 billion

Though whiskey is still gaining new fans, vodka sales represent one-third of all spirits volumes, with a 2.4% uptick for 69.8 million cases. Tequila is also doing well, with volumes up 7.1% to 15.9 million cases.

Why is everyone drinking so much? According to the Council: American whiskey is trendy and has plenty of room for growth; millennials love cocktails; spirits “fit nicely into the trend of consumer interest in brands with authentic, interesting backstories”; local distilleries are modernizing and gaining new fans; and spirits “have become a fixture in popular culture and are part of the norm.”

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