N/A Alcohol

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North American Spirits Growth

North American consumption of spirits is expected to grow 2.9% annually over the five-year period from 2016 to 2021. This would make North America the second fastest growing regional spirits market in the world, after the Asia/Pacific region. The increase in North American consumption is forecast to be led by increasing regional tequila sales and growth in US sales of craft spirits and cognac. According to 2016 data, North America has the third highest regional per capita consumption of spirits, at 6.3 liters per capita, and represents 15.6% of the global market by value.


Looking at the region by country, Mexico is currently experiencing the most growth in spirit sales, at 3.08% annually. The US market comes next, posting a 3.0% growth rate in 2016. Canada's spirits market trailed slightly behind, with an annual growth rate of 2.9% from 2006 to 2016.

Some trends we identified in our research include:

— In Mexico, the spirits experiencing the largest growth in sales are whiskey, at 9% annual growth by volume, and tequila, at 5% annual growth by volume. Tequila is traditionally a strong performer in the Mexican spirits market, accounting for 41% of all sales in 2016. Whiskey growth was led by low- and mid-priced brands, and both tequila and whiskey growth is attributed to increased consumption by young adults.
— In the US, 2016 spirits sales represented 32% of the total alcohol market, up from 26% in 2002. Growth in the spirits market continues to exceed growth in the beer and wine markets.

— Craft spirit sales in the US are expanding rapidly, with a projected growth rate of 40% from 2016 to 2020. This increase may be attributable to the growth of US cocktail culture, and is especially driven by Millennial consumers.

— US sales of cognac increased by 18.8% in 2016. Tequila posted the next highest increase in sales, at 7.4%.

— In Canada, imported spirits are outgrowing domestic spirits. The imported spirits sector posted a 5.1% annual growth rate from 2006 to 2016, compared to a more modest 2.1% gain in domestic spirit sales.

Regionally, opportunities for growth may exist where there are younger consumers to reach. These younger consumers are increasingly targeted by marketing from large brands, but may find smaller brands a better reflection of their cultural identity. Additionally, younger buyers may be less affluent and more inclined towards a lower-priced product.


We reviewed growth in the Spirits market for North America. Our findings include the conclusion that North America is the second fastest growing regional spirits market in the world, after the Asia/Pacific region. The North American spirits market appears robust and poised for continued growth over the next three years.
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Top North American Spirits Brands

Based on a market research brand value report, the top five North American spirit brands are Jack Daniels (worth $3,055 million), Jim beam (worth $538 million), Crown Royal (worth $485 million) Skyy (worth $439 million), and Seagram’s Gin (worth $418 million). Apart from Canadian Crown Royal, they are all from the United States.
In order to determine the top five North American spirit brands, brand value is the metric chosen to determine the top players. Brand value reflects the true worth of a brand that can set them apart from their peers. Consumers are more willing to pay a premium for high value brands.
A report from the market research site, Statista, was then used to display the most valuable spirit brands worldwide in 2017 based on brand values. As per the statistics displayed, the top five spirit brands in North America came only from the US and Canada. There were no spirit brands from Mexico that made it to the top of the list.


Brand overview: Jack Daniels is a whiskey brand produced by the Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee, United States since 1864.

Spirits under the Jack Daniels brand include the following: Old No. 7, Tennessee Rye, Single Barrel collection, Gentleman Jack, Tennessee Fire, and Tennessee Honey.
Reason for inclusion: Jack Daniels has a brand value of about $3,055 million, the largest figure among the North American spirit brands.
Brand overview: Jim Beam is a bourbon whiskey brand manufactured by Beam Suntory in Clermont, Kentucky, United States, since 1795.

Spirits under the Jim Beam brand are the following: Jim Beam original, Jim Beam black and all type of Beam bourbons.
Reason for inclusion: Next to Jack Daniels, Jim Beam has the second largest brand value in North America that amounts to about $538 million.
Brand overview: Crown Royal is a Canadian whiskey brand produced by Diageo in its distillery located in Gimli, Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and was being sold since 1939.

Spirits under the Crown Royal brand are the following: Signature series, Master series, Flavor series, and Retired whiskies.
Reason for inclusion: Crown Royal is ranked third among the most valuable spirit brands in North America with a brand value of $485 million.
Brand overview: Skyy is a vodka brand that was introduced in 1992 and currently being manufactured by Campari America in San Francisco, California.

Spirits under the Skyy brand are the following: Skyy Vodka and Skyy infusions.
Reason for inclusion: Skyy is currently ranked fourth among the top North American spirit brands, with a brand value of about $439 million.
Brand overview: Seagram’s Gin is a brand of gin that was introduced in 1939 in Waterloo, United States.

Spirits under the Seagram’s brand are the following: extra dry gin, pineapple twisted gin, lime-twisted gin, peach twisted gin, melon twisted gin, and apple twisted gin.
Reason for inclusion: Seagram’s gin’s brand value of $418 million placed the brand in fifth place among North America’s largest spirit brands.
Major players in the North American spirit market based on the indicated brand values are Jack Daniels (US), Jim beam (US) Crown Royal (Canada), Skyy (US), and Seagram’s Gin (US).