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America Drank Less Wine for First Time in 25 Years

America’s love affair with wine is waning.

The volume of wine purchased in the U.S. declined 0.9% in 2019, the first time it has fallen since 1994, according to industry tracker IWSR. The trend was ascribed to a generational shift as the number of millennials surpasses baby boomers, who drove strong demand for wine in America.

Americans bought less wine last year, the first such drop in a quarter of a century, as millennials opt for alternatives like hard seltzers, cocktails and nonalcoholic beer.

Distilled Spirits Growth Led by Agave, Whisky, Cognac.and Tito’s

For the first time in over a decade, Smirnoff vodka is no longer the top-selling distilled spirit in America. That distinction is now owned by Tito’s Handmade Vodka, which increased in volume by over 20% in 2019 (vodka remains the largest spirit category by volume in the US). In total, spirits volume in the country grew by 2.3% last year, led by increases in mezcal (40%), Japanese whisky (23.1%), Irish whisky (8.6%), tequila (9.3%), US whiskey (5.5%), and cognac (4%).

Beer: Craft, Low/No Alcohol, and Imports Post Gains

With continued heightened competition from other categories, beer once again showed a decline in the US in 2019 (-2.3%). However, craft beer consumption increased last year by 4.1%, and low/no alcohol beer posted a gain of 6.6%. Imported beer increased 3.1%, while domestic beer dropped -3.6%.