During April, nine-liter spirits case sales in the control states grew 6.6% compared to same period sales last year. Despite a strong 2013 comp, April’s sales were impressive. Contributing factors may be related to: Easter and Passover being celebrated during April this year as opposed to March last year, and Michigan and Utah reporting five weeks of sales versus four weeks last year. Rolling-twelve month volume growth of 1.4% is up from March’s 1.2%. Alabama, Idaho, Montgomery County Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Vermont reported monthly growth rates exceeding their twelve month trends.
Control state spirits shelf dollars grew 10.3% during April while trending at 4.3% during the past twelve months. Alabama, Idaho, Iowa, Montgomery County Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, and Vermont reported growth rates that exceeded their twelve month trends.
Price/Mix for April was 3.7%, up a healthy 180 basis points from March’s 1.9%.
April’s Control State spirits sales are robust. However, consider:
Michigan, with 16% of the Control States’ spirits and dollars volumes, reported five weeks of sales for this April against four weeks last year, artificially inflating sales and skewing Control States results. Michigan had seven more selling days during this year’s April than last year’s.
Utah, with 2.5% of Control State spirits volume, reported five weeks of sales against four weeks last year: there were 6 more selling days during this year’s April.
After normalizing nine-liter spirits case sales for Michigan and Utah, April’s nine-liter case growth is 2.3%, and rolling-twelve month volumes show an increase of 1.1%. Likewise, after normalizing shelf dollars, April’s control states shelf dollar growth rate is 5.6%, and its twelve-month trend is 3.9%.
April’s normalized Price/Mix is 3.3%.
During April, Irish Whiskey, with 0.9% share of the control states spirits market, was the fastest growing category with 15.0% growth reported and a twelve month trend of 10.4%. Vodka, with 33% share, grew during the same periods at 6.1% and 1.3%. All categories–Brandy/Cognac, Canadian Whiskey, Cocktails, Cordials, Domestic Whiskey, Gin, Irish Whiskey, Rum, Scotch, Tequila, and Vodka–grew at rates exceeding their twelve-month trends.
April’s nine-liter wine case sales growth rate was 10.8%. Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Utah, Mississippi, Montgomery County Maryland, and Wyoming reported 9.8%, 5.0%, 32.4%, 14.6%, 14.9%, and 0.9%, respectively. Rolling-twelve month wine volume growth, 0.7%, lapped, and then some, March’s -0.2%.