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Liquor industry trends as spirits take market share from beer

A bartender creates specialty cocktails made with Casamigos at the opening party for Alo Miami on December 16, 2021 in Miami, Florida.

Jason Koerner | Getty Images

CHICAGO — The spirits industry is overcoming economic headwinds to meet changing consumer preferences as it chips away at the dominance of beer.

Spirits revenue market share grew from 28.7% in 2000 to 42.1% in 2022, surpassing beer for the first time ever, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. Beer holds a 41.9% market share, it said.

The trade organization, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, held its annual conference this week in Chicago. The event saw spirits executives, trade leaders, distilling experts, and industry stakeholders gather to reflect on the key trends driving — but also slowing — growth across the industry this year.

Despite supply chain issues and high inflation, the beverage alcohol industry has a lot to toast to these days, said Chris Swonger, president and CEO of DISCUS.

“This is a great American success story,” Swonger said of the industry’s market share supremacy. “We’re focused on continuing to stay ahead through perseverance and by ensuring all of the positive trends we’re seeing continue.”

As the spirits industry works to maintain its top spot this year amid fears of a recession, here are some of the key trends industry leaders who spoke to CNBC see shaping the business today.

1. Celebrity brands steal the spotlight

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2. Premiumization propels luxury spirits, RTD’s

3. No- and low-alcohol drinks are buzzy alternatives

4. Conscious consumers want a story

5. Supply chain and inflationary issues persist

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