By August 6, 2012
Danny Brager VP Group Client Director, Beverage Alcohol Team
According to the very latest Nielsen Spirits report, total U.S. Distilled Spirits sales continued to advance, up +4.3% on value and +3.6% on volume for the 4-week period ending 7/21/2012 within Nielsen's Expanded All Outlet channels along with its Liquor and Convenience channels.  Over the last 13 weeks, percentage gains were +5.2% and +4.3% respectively.  This total U.S. trend excludes the impact of Washington State Spirits sales, since up until June 1, Spirits were only sold in state stores not measured by Nielsen, but since then are now being measured within a variety of Nielsen measured channels.

Spirit sales continued to exhibit mid-single digit range increases, with favorable price/mix. While all price segments reported sales gains, the strongest overall lifts continue to source from Premium and Ultra-Premium spirit segments. Flavors, especially across Vodka and North American Whiskeys, continue to be a growth engine. 

Drilling down further, segments providing the most favorable tailwinds include

Vodka - the largest sub-category, continues to expand, up 6.4% on dollars for the latest 4 weeks, and 7.4% for the latest quarter.
Bourbon -  contributing strong double-digit gains, up 11.1% on dollars for the latest 4 weeks, and 11.3% for the latest quarter.
Irish Whiskey -  while a smaller segment, leading all others in growth, up 27.4% on dollars for the latest 4 weeks, and 24.7% for the latest quarter