A QUICK LOOK AT WINE AND SPIRITS PERFORMANCE IN USA 2020

Source: Wine & Spirits Daily

The year-end reports are rolling in. Here’s a snapshot of how wine and spirits ended 2020 as told by Nielsen. 

SPIRITS. Total spirits sales were up 25.1% and volumes were up nearly 20% for the 52 weeks ended December 26 in Nielsen-measured channels. All major spirit categories received a boost in 2020, with many reporting double-digit growth. To wit:

. Prepared cocktails sales grew nearly 79% for the year and volumes were up 86.1%

. Tequila sales were were up almost 54%, while its volumes were up 38%

. Sales for Cognac were up 41.8%, with volumes up 36.3%

. American Whiskey sales grew by almost 28%, with volumes up almost 21%

. Irish Whiskey sales grew 25.4%, and volumes were up 24.8%

. Gin sales grew 25.1%, with volumes up 16.3%

. Canadian whisky sales were up 18.3%, volumes up 14.3%

. Rum sales were up 16.6%, volumes up 14.1%

. Vodka sales were up 14% while volumes grew 11.8%

. Scotch sales grew by 13.3%, with volumes up 7.6%

. Brandy sales were up 5.0%, with volumes up 4.3%

Based on previous reporting, you might be able to guess who the top dollar share gainers were in 2020. Tequila snagged two dollar share points to 10.8, and the prepared cocktails segment grew one share point to 3.3. 

Where there are share gainers, there are share losers. The top share loser from 2019 to 2020 was vodka, down 2.3 points to 23.9 share, and Scotch was down 0.7 share points to 6.5 dollar share.

WINE. Total wine ended the year with sales up 17.2% and volumes up 12.3% in Nielsen-measured channels. No surprise, that’s a big jump over 2019, when sales were up just 1.5% and volumes were actually down 1.4%. 

Breaking down 2020 wine growth by category:

. Table wine sales were up 14.6%, volumes up 10%

. Sparkling wine sales were up 22.4%, volumes 17.3%

. Sales of wine-based cocktails were up a whopping 121.3%, with volumes up 115%

. Vermouth sales were up nearly 34%, volumes up 25% 

Some things remained consistent in 2020, including imports outpacing domestic wine sales, up 21.2% and 15.4%, respectively. Top imports (by sales growth) for the year were Italy (28.7%), France (26%), New Zealand (24.2%), and Portugal (22.7%).