New numbers for May were recently released by Nielsen. Distilled spirits dollar sales were up by almost 4 percent in the past 4 weeks, just slightly below the expected growth rate seen last year. In the brown spirits, bourbon, Canadian whiskey and Irish whiskey outperformed the total category, while in the white spirits only tequila outperformed the total category.

Distilled spirits volumes were also up over the past 4 weeks by 3.7 percent, also just slightly below the expected growth rate as seen last year. Volumes were up 2.6 percent, a .1 percent increase over the same period last year. Brown spirits in remained strong with Irish whiskey showing the greatest volume growth of 12.2 percent. Tequila, a white spirit, showed volume growth of 12.8 percent. A few categories ended the month slightly down, sales for rum, gin and blended whiskey all slightly underperformed the total category. Overall the spirits industry remains a strong category in both in the U.S. and globally and is standing up well to the recent consolidation trend.

Source: Cowen and Company, June 2017