Total Beverage Alcohol Servings up +4.7% and Consumer Spending up +14.7% in 2021

bw166 released the Total Beverage Alcohol Overview for December 2021 today. With the pandemic continuing to distort the marketplace, the Beverage Alcohol Servings Index increased +4.7% to 130.7. This index measures product shipped into the market and is the most significant growth ever seen. The growth is primarily driven by the substantial increase in imported products attributable to restocking of inventories worked down in 2020, reversal of tariff impacts, and small brands getting back into the market. While supply chain disruptions may maintain elevated shipments into 2022, within the next 12 to 24 months, there will likely be a partial reversal in the Servings Index to more historical norms.

  • The Overview also includes an annual review of all metrics from 2016 to 2021. The five-year CAGR for the Servings Index is 1.76%, with half of the growth coming in 2021

  • Consumer spending on beverage alcohol rebounded, reaching $289.2 billion, a 14.7% increase over 2020. The major shift is attributed to the reopening of on-premise channels.

  • Beer volumes were 210 million barrels, a +2% increase over 2020 with 82% of the growth driven by imports.

  • Wine volumes were 476 million 9L cases, +4.6%. Domestic wines only grew +0.9%. Import growth was driven by: an +8.3% growth of still wines attributed to restocking and vermouth imports, a +41.7% increase of sparkling wine, and an +11.4% increase in flavored wine beverages. Imported flavored wine beverages totaled 27.2 million 9L cases in 2021, with significant growth in the first half of the year and declines in the back half of the year (trends are very similar to hard seltzer).

  • Spirits volumes were 272 million 9L cases, +9.3%. Domestic volumes were up 6.7%, with key drivers being cordials/liqueurs and cocktails. Imported spirits were up 14.9% – the biggest drivers were tequila and whisky.

  • Additional key five-year metrics for the industry include:
    • Beer has lost -3.7% share of servings
    • Wine has gained +0.5% share of servings
    • Spirits has gained +3.2% share of servings.
    • Consumer expenditures have grown +3.6% per year, indicating the continued trading up of consumers compared to the Servings Index growing 1.8% annually.
    • Five-year CAGRs for volume growth are +0.2% for beer, +2.5% for wine, and +4.2% for spirits.

Despite the continuing pandemic, 2021 was a good year for the beverage alcohol industry. However, 2022 will be more challenging with a continuing fight for share between beer, wine, and spirits.