New York is bouncing back and hoping to fuel an on-premise rebound, recently legalizing to-go cocktails through 2025. Purchasing trends in the Empire State could assist up-and-coming brands looking to take part in New York’s resurgence. Park Street University put together a comprehensive review of trending categories and subcategories in New York, along with the top brands in the state, based on the latest data from Beverage Information Group.
Categories in Context
The beer category, which includes hard seltzer, led the way in New York with over 160 million cases consumed in 2021. The figure represented a jump of over 5% from 2019, making beer the fastest-growing category in the state during that period.
Spirits grew just below 5% from 2019 to 2021, with more than 16 million nine-liter cases consumed last year. Wine grew less than 2% during the same period. However, wine was the second-largest category in the state with nearly 28.7 million cases consumed.
Overall, beer accounted for more than 78% of the share of beverage alcohol consumed in New York, while wine accounted for 14% and spirits finished with just under 8%.
How Subcategories Performed
Vodka was the top distilled spirits subcategory in the state with over 6.3 million cases consumed in 2021, a slight jump from the previous year. Vodka accounted for 39% of distilled spirits sold in New York. Rum, cordials, American whiskey, and scotch rounded out the top five. The five largest subcategories accounted for 74% of distilled spirits consumed in the state.
Prepared cocktails sold 368,000 cases in 2021, representing a 15% year-over-year increase and making it the fastest-growing subcategory in 2021. Tequila was the second-fastest-growing category in the state with a year-over-year increase of nearly 8% and 829,000 cases consumed.
Table wines saw a slight drop in volume from 2020 to 2021. Wine growth overall was boosted by a rise in sparkling wine volumes. Sparkling wines grew about 6% year over year. Table wines still accounted for 89% of total wine, while sparkling wines made up almost 9% of the share, and dessert wines finished with a little over 1%.
Top Brands in the State
Half of the top 20 distilled spirits brands in New York were vodka brands and the top brand was Tito’s Handmade Vodka, which sold 882,000 cases. Smirnoff, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Bacardi, and New Amsterdam Vodka made up the rest of the top five brands.
While tequila and prepared cocktails are on the rise in the state, there were no brands representing these subcategories in the state’s top distilled spirits brands. The top 20 brands were made up of ten vodka brands, three rums, four whiskeys, two brandy/cognacs, and a liqueur.