The latest NielsenIQ reports dropped today, and it appears trends are improving for wine and spirits in the latest month as we head into Labor Day weekend.

Overall, spirits volume growth outpaced sales growth, with sales up 3.2% and volumes up nearly 7% for the four weeks ended August 13 in NielsenIQ-measured off-premise channels.

By price tier, the value segment is the only one down in the four-week period, with sales down 1.3% and volumes down 2.4%. The mid priced tier was growing the fastest, with sales up 6.1% and volumes up 12.4%. Premium spirits were up 5.5% in sales and 9.2% in volumes; and the ultra premium price tier was up around 2% in both sales and volumes.

A handful of spirits categories were growing in both sales and volumes for the four-week period, including:

  • Flavored whiskey, sales up 6.7% and volumes up 4.6%
  • Moonshine, sales up 55.3%, volumes up 51.2%
  • Cordials, sales up 2.1%, volumes up 0.5%
  • Tequila, sales up 6.3%, volumes up 3.4%
  • Tequila/mezcal, sales and volumes both up nearly 8%
  • Prepared cocktails, sales up 44.3%, volumes up 49%

American whiskey and Canadian whiskey also reported some sales growth for the period, up 1.9% and 1.7%, respectively. Meanwhile, only two categories were down double digits; single malt Scotch (-11.3%) and Cognac (-12.5%).

Turning to wine, total sales were down 1.6% for the four weeks ended August 13, and volumes down 4.5%. There’s still a lot of red on the wine spreadsheets, but less so than previous months.

So what categories are growing? Dessert wine sales were up 10.4%; sake/plum sales were up 4.7%; non-alc wine sales grew nearly 25%; and wine-based cocktails were up 7.4% in sales for the four weeks.

Then, too, several imported segments were up too. New Zealand wines have been growing lately, largely thanks to sauvignon blanc, and the latest four-week period was no different, with sales up 6.3%. South African wine sales were up 1.4%, wines from Spain were up 1.2% in sales, and wines from Chile were up 0.7% in sales.

BEER & SPIRITS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE TO OUTPERFORM LEADING UP TO LABOR DAY. “Expect RTDs and beer to have positive momentum for Labor Day, but the results could be slightly muted compared to last year, with shoppers really starting to feel substantial impact from inflation now,” says NielsenIQ vp of bev alc thought leadership Jon Berg.

“We’ve seen consumers back in outdoor events and venues this summer especially, it will be hard to see the summer come to an end for many,” Jon continues. “We are looking for a holdover effect into the start of football season as consumers won’t want to let go of their normalized summer experience.”

(Source: Wine & Spirits Daily & ABL) 

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