Major Cultural Trends Affecting Spirits in the U.S.

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Major Cultural Trends Affecting Spirits in the U.S.

The success of Sazerac’s Fireball Cinnamon Whisky--which grew 65% in sales during 2015--has propelled  flavored whiskey. In general, the rise in cinnamon and spicy flavors has produced a decrease in sales for maple-flavored whiskeys and Canadian whiskies. The other big trend at the moment is Irish whiskey, whose sales went up 8.2% in 2015. Forty percent of Irish whiskey consumers are women.  

Ideas about tequila are changing--the spirit is no longer seen as just a party drink. Brands like Patron and Casamigos are reintroducing tequila as a drink that goes with meals. Millennials have embraced tequila due to their appreciation for artisanal products. Today consumers are more savvy, and they want to learn about the craft that goes into the making of their drinks. For this reason, authenticity is very important. Vodka has struggled to adjust to the present craft-driven market, and its growth flattened in 2015. However, it remains the king of white spirits with 33.7% of all spirits sales.  

Home-tainment is providing new situations and environments for people to consume spirits. At-home drinking culture is thriving in the US and Europe with people sharing pictures of their gatherings over social media. The digital revolution is also changing the ways companies interact with their clients. Social media and online marketing allow companies a direct line of communication with customers. According to Gilles Bogaert, CFO of Pernod Ricard, in five to eight years, 5% of all sales will be through digital channels.   Spiros Malandrakis, analyst at Euromonitor International, believes that Trump's election may create some hardship for spirits' producers, but it will not affect drinking trends. Since the US election, the tequila brand Jose Cuervo has delayed its initial public offering (IPO) because of market volatility. 

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