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U.S. Craft Distillers Sales Rise To $7.9 Billion, But Big Brands Still Dominate Share

The U.S.’s craft distillery market is undoubtedly growing, as is the number of its small craft producers. But according to a new report, the category’s more exclusive cohort of large distilleries continues to tower over their many small-time counterparts.

According to data released by the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) on Wednesday, the U.S. craft spirits market broke the 14 million cases mark in 2022 (the year with the most recent data available) making the market value below $8 billion. This marks a 6.1 percent increase in overall market volume, and a 5.3 percent jump in value. Additionally, the nation’s 2,753 domestic craft distilleries accounted for 7.7 percent of the total U.S. spirits market.

7.7 percent of nearly $8 billion is admittedly a lot of cash, but that cash is largely coming from the craft market’s biggest players: In 2022, less than 2 percent of craft spirits producers were responsible for a whopping 54.5 percent of the cases produced. Meanwhile, the 89.2 percent of craft distilleries that fall into the catagory’s “small” classification were only responsible for a measly 11.3 percent of spirits produced. To put that in perspective, the nation’s 43 large craft distilleries produced an average of 178,000 cases each, dwarfing the 2,418 small distilleries average of just 657 cases.

Per the ACSA guidelines, the craft spirits market is broken up into three categories: small, medium, and large. Small producers can make anywhere from one to 5,200 cases per year. Medium producers can make between 5,200 and 52,000, and large craft producers can put out up to roughly 395,000 cases. All distilleries under the craft umbrella must market themselves as craft, not be openly controlled by a large supplier, and have no proven violation of the ACSA Code of Ethics.

“Craft continues to outperform the larger spirits category,” ACSA CEO Margie Lehrman tells Shanken News Daily. If the category keeps growing at this pace, it’s set to hit 8.4 percent total market share by 2027. And if it follows the same trajectory as the American craft beer market, it could be on track to claim over 13 percent of the overall American spirits market. The future looks promising, but perhaps the boom has yet to actually boom.

The article U.S. Craft Distillers Sales Rise To $7.9 Billion, But Big Brands Still Dominate Share appeared first on VinePair.

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