The beverage alcohol market slowed in the first quarter with overall servings of Beer, Wine, and Spirits only being up +0.1% over the last three months and up +1.1% over the past twelve months. Spirits is showing good growth over twelve months ending March 2019 with volume growth of +3.7%. Beer and Wine are relatively flat for the same period.
Legal drinking age population is up +1.03% over the last twelve months so per capita consumption is relatively flat. This is consistent with trends over the last 15 years where Total Beverage Alcohol servings are up 20.7% while the Legal Drinking age population has increased by 19.6%.
Consumer spending has performed better than servings with spending up +2.8% over the past twelve months. This consists of only +1.1% growth in off premise spending but +5.1% growth in on premise spending. Total wholesale revenue growth is estimated at +1.0% with on premise operators expanding margins to offset expense increases such as labor, which is up +5.9%.
Trends in beverage alcohol are similar to overall trends in consumer spending. Over the last twelve months consumer spending has increased to $14.34 Trillion, +4.4%. Services have grown to $9.94 Trillion, +5.1% which includes on premise beverage alcohol sales. Food and beverages, which are part of the non-durable goods segment have grown to $1.01 Trillion, +2.1%.