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December/End of Year 2012 Control State Results

Source: NABCA

Nine-liter case control state spirits sales during 2012 increased 3.6% over sales during the same period last year, led by Irish Whiskey, Cordials, Vodka, Domestic Whiskey, and Brandy/Cognac reporting annual growth rates of 19.6%, 6.1%, 5.1%, 3.9%, and 3.8%, respectively. Sales of Cocktails and Gin were soft during the year. Iowa, Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming reported annual increases exceeding the control state trend.

Control state spirits shelf dollars grew 6.4% during 2012. The growth rates reported for Irish Whiskey (23.3%), Domestic Whiskey (8.5%), Cordials (7.9%), Brandy/Cognac (7.5%), Vodka (7.4%), and Scotch (7.3%) are notable. Shelf dollars reported by Iowa, Idaho, Montana, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming grew above the control state trend.

Control state volume growth during 2012, 3.6%, follows growth rates reported for 2011 and 2010 of 3.2% and 2.3%. 2012’s shelf dollar growth, 6.4%, compares to 4.5% and 2.6% reported for 2011 and 2010. These reported growth rates yield annual price/mix calculations during 2010 through 2012 of 0.3%, 1.3%, and 2.8%, respectively, and suggest that the growth of premium-priced spirits has accelerated because of the economic recovery in the Control States market since 2011.

END-OF-DECEMBER Results

During December, nine-liter spirits case sales in the control states were down 2.7% compared to same month last year sales. Rolling-twelve month volumes grew 3.6%, lagging November’s 4.2%. No control jurisdiction reported a monthly growth rate exceeding its twelve month trend.

Control state spirits shelf dollars were flat during December while trending at 6.4% during the past twelve months. No control jurisdiction reported a growth rate exceeding its twelve month trend. Price/Mix for December is 2.7% compared to November’s 4.2%.

Control State spirits sales were soft during December. For explanations, consider the following:

Michigan, with 16% of the Control States’ spirits and dollars volume, reported four weeks of sales this December against five weeks last year, artificially deflating sales and skewing Control States results. Michigan had seven fewer selling days-21% fewer-during this year’s December compared to last year’s. Utah, with 2% of Control State spirits volume, reported four weeks of sales against five weeks the previous year: there were 6 fewer selling days-21% fewer-during this year’s December. After normalizing nine-liter spirits case sales for Michigan and Utah, December’s nine-liter case growth is 1.5%, and rolling-twelve month volumes show an increase of 4.0%. Likewise, after normalizing shelf dollars, December’s control state shelf dollar growth rate is 4.4%, and its twelve-month trend is 6.9%. December’s normalized Price/Mix is 2.9%.

The December, 2012, calendar has five Sundays compared to four last year. Retail outlets in six control jurisdictions-Alabama, Montana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Utah, West Virginia-are closed on Sundays. Christmas, 2011, was celebrated on Sunday; Christmas, 2012, was celebrated on Tuesday. Many retail outlets in the Control States are closed on Christmas. December, 2012, had twelve fewer selling days because of Christmas’ position in the Calendar relative to 2011. The December, 2011, calendar had five Thursdays and five Fridays, which were replaced by four Thursdays, four Fridays, and a Sunday and Monday in the December, 2012, calendar. On average, 38% of weekly business is done on Thursdays and Fridays versus 14% on Sundays and Mondays.

During December, Irish Whiskey, with 0.8% share of the control states spirits market, was the fastest growing category with 9.8% growth reported and a twelve month growth trend of 19.6%. Vodka, with 35% share, grew during the same periods at -2.8% and 5.1%. No category’s growth rate exceeded its twelve-month trend.

December’s nine-liter wine case sales growth rate was 0.4%. Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Utah, Mississippi, Montgomery County Maryland, and Wyoming reported 3.1%, 0.8%, -13.2%, -5.8%, -1.9%, and 3.9%, respectively. December’s rolling-twelve month wine volume growth, 4.2%, is down slightly from November’s 4.5%.