For first time, spirits grab greater share of US market than beer

WASHINGTON D.C.: Spirits, such as whiskey, cognac and tequila, have surpassed beer’s share of the US market for the first time, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the US.

Data complied by the council reported that in 2022, US sales for spirits totaled $37.58 billion, while beers only reached $37.46 billion, with spirit’s market share being 42.1 percent, while beer accounted for 41.9 percent.

Tequila and ready-to-drink canned cocktails were among the fastest-growing types of spirits, but vodka is still the largest by sales, the data also showed.

"The ‘premiumization’ trend, where people look at distilled spirits as an affordable luxury, is affirmed by these numbers," said Chris Swonger, CEO of the Distilled Spirits Council, as reported by Reuters.

Happy hours conducted by video chat at home during the pandemic led to the increased sales of spirits, he added.

However, liquor sales at restaurants and bars have not recovered to pre-pandemic levels, the data showed, and Swonger blamed this on hybrid work or flexible arrangements that combine office and remote work.

"Downtowns will be full on a Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, not on Monday or Friday. There are fewer Friday after-work drinks," he said.