Thought Leadership

Straight and Neat: Trends Influencing Consumers’ Thirst for Spirits

By David Parker and Pedro Goncalves

bartender pouring drink

2017 was a very good year for the spirits market. And there is no indication that the pours are stopping soon.

According to the Distilled Spirits Council, the volume of spirits sold at U.S. retail locations rose 2.6 percent to 226 million cases in 2017 and sales at alcohol suppliers rose 4 percent to $26.2 billion. For the eighth consecutive year, spirits gained market share, with sales rising to nearly 37 percent of the total alcohol market. Spirits are gaining greater “share of throat,” mostly at the expense of beer, with spirits taking market share away from beers for the eighth straight year, rising 0.7 percent to 36.6 percent share of the total U.S. beverage alcohol market1. High-end and super premium product growth across spirits categories includes whiskey, tequila and emerging mezcal while vodka remains the largest category representing one third of all volume2.

We’re not surprised by spirits’ steady growth. Backed by 116 years of packaging expertise, TricorBraun has been advising beverage alcohol brands on how to align packaging with consumer preferences for decades.

There’s an essential connection between packaging design, functionality and the consumer’s evolving lifestyle and needs. We know, based on firsthand experience, how spirits brand owners can drive consumer loyalty through packaging – packaging that connects with your target consumers and delivers an outstanding experience.

It starts with understanding the consumer trends and lifestyle behaviors influencing spirits’ growth. Let’s examine three major trends that will impact your spirits packaging strategy.


1, 2 Distilled Spirits Council, annual economic briefing, February 1, 2018

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