State of the Beverage Alcohol Industry

State of the Beverage Alcohol Industry



Inflation for beverage alcohol has been 6.3% over the last year, among the lowest across the store and far below the total food and beverage inflation rate of 13.2%. While premium spirits have lost some ground to value-oriented premixed cocktails, consumers have raised a glass in growing support of premium beer and wine products. This report surveys the top recent trends and most promising future opportunities for retail and on-premise beverage alcohol.


  • As consumers adopt healthier habits, better-for-you options that include low- and no-alcohol products are gaining traction.
  • Sales of ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails and hard seltzers leveled off in 2022 after a meteoric rise from 2018 to 2021. Younger generations from age 21+ to Gen X buy almost two-thirds of RTD alcohol.
  • Beverage alcohol was the only grocery category to add significantly more in-store displays in 2022 — and that investment helped produce a sales lift.
  • On-premise beverage alcohol sales have yet to rebound from the pandemic, and are down 3.7% per venue versus a year ago. This gives retail an opportunity to shift the trial experience to an at-home one. It also highlights the need for on-premise operators to promote the fun experience they offer and their lower relative inflation rate to lure customers back.

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