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March 2013 Control State results: volume down 2.7% and revenue up 0.5%

During March, nine-liter spirits case sales in the control states fell 2.7% compared to same month last year sales. Rolling-twelve month reported volumes grew at 3.0%, down from February’s 3.5%. Mississippi, Vermont, and West Virginia reported monthly growth rates exceeding their twelve month trends.
Control state spirits shelf dollars were up 0.5% during March while trending at 5.9% during the past twelve months. Alabama, Vermont, and West Virginia reported growth rates exceeding their twelve month trends.
Price/Mix for March grew to 3.2% from February’s 3.0%.
March’s Control State spirits sales appear soft. However, consider that:

 

– The March, 2013, 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. Easter, 2013, was celebrated on Sunday, March 31; Easter, 2012, was celebrated in April. Many retail outlets, which are normally open Sundays, in the Control States were closed to celebrate the Easter holiday.

 

– Michigan, with 16% of the Control States’ spirits and dollars volumes, reported four weeks of sales this March 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 March 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 March. Overall, considering Easter’s position in this year’s calendar, there were 21 fewer selling days in the control states this March than last. After normalizing nine-liter spirits case sales for Michigan and Utah reporting, March’s nine-liter case growth is 2.9%, and rolling-twelve month volumes show an increase of 3.4%. Likewise, after normalizing shelf dollars, March’s control states shelf dollar growth rate is 6.4%, and its twelve-month trend is 6.4%.

 

– March’s normalized Price/Mix is 3.5%.

 
During March, Irish Whiskey, with 0.8% share of the control states spirits market, was the fastest growing category with 6.7% growth reported and a twelve month growth trend of 17.6%. Vodka, with 34% share, grew during the same periods at -2.9% and 4.5%. During March, Neutral Grain Spirits, a relatively small category recently included in control states sales reporting, grew at a rate that exceeded its twelve-month trend.
March’s nine-liter wine case sales growth rate was 8.2%. Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Utah, Mississippi, Montgomery County Maryland, and Wyoming reported 11.5%, 15.1%, -12.7%, 4.7%, 1.6%, and 2.2%, respectively. March’s rolling-twelve month wine volume growth, 5.1%, is up from February’s 4.3%.

 

 

[lightTable]
9L Cases CM % Chg Shelf $ CM % Chg Price/Mix Control States
Total Control States

-2.7

0.5

3.2%

Central Region

-5.5

-2.3

3.2%

IA, MD, MI, OH, PA, WV
NE Region

1.1

6.4

5.3%

ME, NH, VT
NW Region

-2.4

0.9

3.3%

ID, MT, OR, UT, WY
Southern Region

0.7

3.6

2.9%

AL, MS, NC, VA
[/lightTable]

Source: NABCA

http://www.nabca.org/News/Files/CSR_March2013.pdf