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White Spirits - US - December 2017

"Distilled spirits (white and dark) are expected to flourish, growing 11% through 2022 with white spirits making up majority of volume sold. Sales of white spirits will maintain forward momentum as interest in craft, premium spirits, and cocktails grows. While vodka’s versatile flavor profile has kept it as the leading segment of the category, success in newer unflavored varieties has brought the inherent quality of the spirit back to the forefront. Tequila is the fastest growing segment, driven by premium and super-premium offerings, while rum struggles to stabilize and gin lacks mainstream relevance."

- Megan Hambleton, Beverage Analyst

This report will look at the following areas:

  • Spirits, cocktails, mixed drinks come second to beer and wine
  • Dark spirits' rise in popularity challenges white spirits
  • Gin lacks associations needed to gain appeal

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • Overview
          • White spirits enjoy strong and steady volume growth
            • Figure 1: Total US volume sales and fan chart forecast of white spirits, 2012-22
          • The issues
            • Spirits, cocktails, mixed drinks come second to beer and wine
              • Figure 2: Alcohol associations, August 2017
            • Dark spirits rise in popularity
              • Figure 3: US volume sales of dark spirits, by segment 2012-22
            • Gin lacks associations needed to gain appeal
              • Figure 4: Spirit associations, August 2017
            • The opportunities
              • Consumers cutting back on alcohol, offer a solution
                • Figure 5: Reasons for drinking less white spirits, August 2017
              • Younger consumers drink for fun, drive segment growth
                • Figure 6: Motivations for drinking alcohol, by gender and age, August 2017
              • Gin consumers see themselves knowledgeable, older Millennials a strong target
                • Figure 7: Attitudes toward spirits, by white spirit consumption, August 2017
              • What it means
              • The Market – What You Need to Know

                • White spirits aid in driving distilled spirits market
                  • Vodka unwaveringly dominates white spirits, tequila posts largest gains
                    • Advertising opportunities and celeb associations grow awareness, beer and wine still limit total growth
                      • Total US population ages, drinks less
                      • Market Size and Forecast

                        • Distilled spirits dollar sales continue to soar
                          • Figure 8: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of distilled spirits, at current prices, 2012-22
                          • Figure 9: Total US sales and forecast of distilled spirits, at current prices, 2012-22
                        • Historic and projected volume sales performance of white spirits
                          • Figure 10: Total US volume sales and fan chart forecast of white spirits, 2012-22
                          • Figure 11: US volume sales of white spirits, 2012-22
                      • Market Breakdown

                        • Vodka continues to dominate category, tequila shows growth
                          • Figure 12: US volume sales of white spirits, by segment, 2017
                          • Figure 13: Sales of white spirits, by segment, 2012-2022
                        • At-home consumption pivotal in the spirits category
                          • Figure 14: US volume sales of dark and white distilled spirits, percentage change by channel, 2012-16
                          • Figure 15: Where consumers drink liquor, trended 2012-17
                      • Market Perspective

                        • Popularity rising for all things dark spirits
                          • Figure 16: US volume sales of dark spirits, by segment 2012-22
                        • Liquor advertisements allowed in NFL challenge beer’s stronghold
                          • Cocktails and spirits come second to beer and wine
                            • Figure 17: Alcohol associations, August 2017
                        • Market Factors

                          • Total alcohol consumption goes down, spending goes up
                            • Figure 18: Total on-premise market volume consumption per capita, total alcohol, 2011-20
                          • Median age rises, driving change in behavior
                            • Figure 19: Median age of the population, 1940-2050
                        • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                          • Vodka and tequila brands showed strongest movement toward premium trend
                            • Premium spirits drive brand growth, unflavored vodkas gain attention
                              • Domestic gins drag segment down
                                • Craft spirits to continue to spark category interest
                                • Company and Brand Sales of White Spirits

                                  • Domestic vodka brands provide quality-driven growth
                                    • Figure 20: Vodka consumed in the past 30 days, by brand, trended 2012-17
                                  • Tequila brands see growth across the board
                                    • Figure 21: Tequila consumed in the past 30 days, by brand, trended 2012-17
                                  • Bacardi leads the segment, though rum brands may be missing out on key trends
                                    • Figure 22: White/light rum consumed in the past 30 days, by brand, trended 2012-17
                                  • Imported gin brands a bright spot in a falling segment
                                    • Figure 23: Gin consumed in the past 30 days, by brand, trended 2012-17
                                • What’s Working?

                                  • Premium spirits
                                    • Figure 24: Percent US white spirit entries (gin, white rum, tequila, vodka) with premium positioning claims, Jan 2009 – Nov 2017
                                  • High-quality, unflavored vodka
                                    • Figure 25: US vodka entries, percent of entries by flavor, Jan 2012-Nov 2017
                                  • Celebrity endorsements break through the clutter
                                    • Figure 26: Chrissy Teigen Blue World | Only the Best for Everyone | Smirnoff, May 2017
                                • What’s Struggling?

                                  • Domestic gin struggles to find footing
                                  • What’s Next?

                                    • Farm-to-glass spirits
                                    • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                      • Unflavored vodka a favorite among consumers, women prefer flavors
                                        • As consumption stalls, category growth may be limited
                                          • Relaxation drives alcohol consumption, secondary motivations vary
                                            • Cocktails encourage spirit exploration, though limited at home
                                              • Reason for drinking determines spirit decisions
                                                • Strong spring and summer sparks in consumption benefit white spirits
                                                  • Lacking associations, gin loses to the rest of the category
                                                    • Regardless of value, liquor stores drive spirit purchases
                                                    • White Spirits Consumption

                                                        • Unflavored vodka carries highest reach
                                                            • Figure 27: White spirit consumption, August 2017
                                                          • Flavored vodkas appeal to women
                                                              • Figure 28: White spirit consumption, by gender, August 2017
                                                            • Gin, white/light rums appeal to an older Millennial palate
                                                              • Figure 29: White spirit consumption, by Millennial status, August 2017
                                                            • Multicultural consumers an especially strong target
                                                              • Figure 30: White spirit consumption, by race and Hispanic origin, August 2017
                                                          • Shifts in White Spirit Consumption

                                                              • Nine in 10 consumers stalling or decreasing consumption
                                                                • Figure 31: Shifts in white spirit consumption, August 2017
                                                              • 35-44-year-olds show opportunity for growth
                                                                • Figure 32: Shifts in white spirit consumption, by age, August 2017
                                                              • Parents more likely to have increased consumption
                                                                • Figure 33: Shifts in white spirit consumption, by gender and parent status, August 2017
                                                              • Reasons for drinking more
                                                                • Figure 34: Reasons for drinking more white spirits, August 2017
                                                              • Reasons for drinking less
                                                                • Figure 35: Reasons for drinking less white spirits, August 2017
                                                            • Motivations for Drinking Alcohol

                                                                • Relaxation is the main reason consumers imbibe
                                                                  • Figure 36: Motivations for drinking alcohol, August 2017
                                                                • Motivations fluctuate per white spirit consumed
                                                                    • Figure 37: Motivations for drinking alcohol, by dark and white spirit consumption, August 2017
                                                                  • With age comes an appreciation for taste and indulgence
                                                                    • Figure 38: Motivations for drinking alcohol, by gender and age, August 2017
                                                                  • Parents turn to alcohol for fun
                                                                    • Figure 39: Motivations for drinking alcohol, by gender and parent status, August 2017
                                                                • Attitudes Toward Spirits

                                                                    • Cocktails a good way to introduce new spirits
                                                                      • Figure 40: Attitudes toward spirits - White spirits rebase, August 2017
                                                                    • Gin consumers see themselves as more knowledgeable, effects their approach to spirits
                                                                      • Figure 41: Attitudes toward spirits – part 1, by white spirit consumption, August 2017
                                                                    • White rum drinkers explore cocktail creation
                                                                      • Figure 42: Attitudes toward spirits – part 2, by white spirit consumption, August 2017
                                                                    • Younger drinkers more adventurous in at-home cocktail creation
                                                                      • Figure 43: Attitudes toward spirits - White spirits rebase, by Millennial status, August 2017
                                                                  • Deciding Which Spirit to Drink

                                                                      • Why they drink determines what spirit they drink
                                                                        • Figure 44: Spirit decision making - White spirits rebase, August 2017
                                                                      • Women may be more swayed by what they have on hand
                                                                        • Figure 45: Spirit decision making - White spirits rebase, any rank, by gender, August 2017
                                                                      • Word of mouth goes a long way for Millennials…
                                                                        • Figure 46: Spirit decision making - White spirits rebase, any rank, by Millennial status, August 2017
                                                                      • …and Hispanics
                                                                        • Figure 47: Spirit decision making - White spirits rebase, any rank, by Hispanic origin, August 2017
                                                                    • Seasonality of Spirits

                                                                        • White spirit consumption peaks in summer months
                                                                          • Figure 48: Seasonality of spirits, August 2017
                                                                        • Tequila shows the strongest seasonal spike
                                                                          • Figure 49: Seasonality of spirits, by white spirit type, August 2017
                                                                      • White Spirit Associations

                                                                          • Gin lacks associations, lags behind vodka and tequila
                                                                            • Figure 50: Spirit associations, August 2017
                                                                          • Young men keen on high-quality tequila
                                                                            • Figure 51: Spirit associations – tequila, by gender and age, August 2017
                                                                          • Vodka is Black consumers’ go-to for fun and good taste
                                                                            • Figure 52: Spirit associations - vodka, by race and Hispanic origin, August 2017
                                                                          • Millennials have higher associations with gin, though some conflicting
                                                                            • Figure 53: Spirit associations – Gin, by Millennial status, August 2017
                                                                          • White/light rums appeal based on affordability more than quality for young consumers
                                                                            • Figure 54: Spirit associations – White/light rum, by age, August 2017
                                                                        • Purchase Location of Spirits

                                                                            • Liquor stores drive majority of sales regardless of value
                                                                              • Figure 55: Purchase location, August 2017
                                                                              • Figure 56: Purchase location – Do not purchase, August 2017
                                                                            • Consumers not restricted to ABC stores broaden their search, especially in western US
                                                                              • Figure 57: Purchase location, by region, August 2017
                                                                            • Older Millennials shop for value spirits wherever convenient
                                                                              • Figure 58: Purchase location, value spirits, by older and younger Millennials, August 2017
                                                                            • Hispanics open to purchasing in more channels
                                                                              • Figure 59: Purchase location, by Hispanic origin, August 2017
                                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                            • Data sources
                                                                              • Sales data
                                                                                • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                  • Consumer survey data
                                                                                    • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                                                        • Terms
                                                                                        • Appendix – The Market

                                                                                            • Figure 60: Total US sales and forecast of distilled spirits, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2012-22
                                                                                            • Figure 61: US volume sales and forecast of white spirits, by segment, 2012-22
                                                                                            • Figure 62: US volume sales of white spirits, by segment, 2015 and 2017
                                                                                            • Figure 63: Total US volume sales and fan chart forecast of vodka, 2012-22
                                                                                            • Figure 64: Total US volume sales and fan chart forecast of rum, 2012-22
                                                                                            • Figure 65: Total US volume sales and fan chart forecast of gin, 2012-22
                                                                                            • Figure 66: Total US volume sales and fan chart forecast of tequila, 2012-22

                                                                                        White Spirits - US - December 2017

                                                                                        US $3,995.00 (Excl.Tax)