More good news for the beer industry, following last week’s data about craft beer sales going strong in the first half of 2007.
Beer sales from food, drug, liquor and convenience stores for the year ended June 2 grew 1.1% in volume, faster than spirits, which edged up 0.3% but trailed wine, which grew 2.7%, per Nielsen Monitor Plus. While Nielsen (which, like Brandweek, is owned by Nielsen Co.) touts that liquor and wine growth rates fell during that period, Impact, the New York-based trade publication, said all the categories grew in 2006 by more than 1% in volume.
BrandWeek also reports on a proprietary analysis for liquor clients by Information resources, Inc., which provided much of the information for last week’s press release from the Brewers Association. IRI found that consumers drinking less booze are substituting with high-end beer, light-calorie brews and wine. IRI figures show case sales of imports and craft beers increased 3.7% for the year ended July 15 while spirits slipped 1.1% and wine rose 4.4%.
Bump Williams, general manager of IRI’s beverage and alcohol unit, said craft beers are catching up with spirits in terms of cachet: “If they’re not drinking a martini or a vodka tonic, they want to be seen with a Corona, a Sam Adams or a Fat Tire. They’re unique, individual and chic.”
Nothing like feeling chic on a Monday morning, is there?