Report shows craft spirits drinkers want options to purchase and ship their favorite products now more than ever
ATLANTA, OCTOBER 24, 2023 – Today’s release of the 2023 Direct-to-Consumer Spirits Shipping Report from global tax compliance technology leader Sovos and the American Craft Spirits Association underscores a continued increase in the percentage of regular craft spirits drinkers who want to legally purchase their beverages of choice via direct-to-consumer (DtC) shipping. Sovos’ beverage alcohol compliance business, Sovos ShipCompliant, leads the industry in automated alcohol beverage compliance tools, and its customers continue to see a significant, consistent increase in consumer preference for DtC shipping of alcoholic beverages, from spirits to wine to beer and more.
The 2023 Direct-to-Consumer Spirits Shipping Report found an increase in regular craft spirits drinkers who want to legally purchase their favorite spirits products and have them shipped directly to their homes — 87% versus 80% in 2022. And 81% of those likely to purchase spirits DtC say if they could purchase craft spirits DtC, they would do so at least once a month or more. More than four in five (82%) regular craft spirits drinkers believe U.S. laws should be updated to make it legal to ship spirits DtC in more states. For the 2023 Direct-to-Consumer Shipping Report, The Harris Poll conducted an online survey among 598 regular craft spirits drinkers (U.S. adults ages 21+ who drink craft spirits once a month or more often) on behalf of Sovos and its ShipCompliant business.
“Our second annual Direct-to-Consumer Spirits Shipping Report illuminates that the consumer demand sparked during the pandemic is not diminishing, as an overwhelming number of craft spirit drinkers want direct shipping,” said Leah Rasori, CMO of Sovos. “It’s also notable that 78% of regular craft spirits drinkers say the ability to purchase via DtC would make them more likely to try spirits from out-of-state distilleries, demonstrating missed opportunities in both sales for distillers and tax revenue for states.”
Craft spirits are increasingly popular, with 2022 marking the first time U.S. consumers spent more money on spirits than they did on beer. As of October 2023, there are more than 122,000 spirits brands in the U.S., and over the past few years the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) approved between 13,000 and 16,000 new brands. However, DtC spirits shipping is still only legal in only nine U.S. locales (eight states and D.C.), with recent failed legislative progression in New York, Texas and Hawaii. Sovos’ 2023 report found that 80% of craft spirits drinkers, up from 74% in 2022, say they would purchase craft spirits from out-of-state distilleries via DtC shipping if they could do so.
“With today’s limited spirits shipping laws, a majority of Americans are unable to purchase their favorite spirits products,” said Margie A.S. Lehrman, CEO of the American Craft Spirits Association. “As consumers continue to demand choice and convenience, states will need to take action in order to provide spirits producers with enhanced ability to satisfy and grow their customer base. State laws will need to change to support consumers and American businesses. It’s a win-win for all.”
Other notable findings and trends described in the 2023 Direct-to-Consumer Spirits Shipping Report include:
- Wine = Case in point: As a $4 billion market, wine provides the best real-world case study on how DtC is beneficial for all in the value chain. Direct shipping still only accounts for about 10% of all wine sales, while wholesalers’ revenue continues to increase.
- Money on the table: With limited DtC spirits shipping laws, craft spirits distillers and states alike are losing out on revenue. Highlighting this, the report shows 43% of regular craft spirits drinkers who are likely to purchase craft spirits DtC say they would spend $100 or more a month. Furthermore, 75% say they would be likely to sign up for a spirits subscription club from a distillery — potentially creating a consistent flow of revenue — if it offered DtC shipping.
- Interest in DtC spirits shipping inches toward craft beer: Over the past few years, the market share of craft spirits has risen, inching ever so closer to that of beer. The same goes for DtC shipping of craft spirits, with 81% of those who say they are likely to purchase spirits DtC if they could, saying they would do it at least once a month or more — compared to 92% of regular craft beer drinkers.
The 2023 Direct-to-Consumer Spirits Shipping Report is the second annual collaboration between Sovos and the American Craft Spirits Association, which examines the craft spirits purchasing behaviors and intent of U.S. consumers.
To download the full Direct-to-Consumer Spirits Shipping Report, visit DtCSpiritsReport.com. Additionally, visit this page for the most up-to-date information on the rules governing DtC shipping of spirits.
Consumer Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Sovos from August 21-23, 2023 among 2,017 U.S. adults ages 21 and older, among whom 598 drink craft spirits/liquor at least once per month. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within +/- 4.7 percentage points using a 95% confidence level. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sovos provides businesses with the confidence needed to navigate an increasingly regulated world. Offering a modern, IT driven response to compliance, Sovos’ solutions are scalable, reliable and secure and provide a great user experience. Sovos has more than 100,000 customers, including half the Fortune 500, as well as businesses of every size operating in more than 70 countries. The company’s cloud-based solutions integrate with a wide variety of business applications and government compliance processes. Sovos has employees throughout the Americas and Europe and is owned by Hg and TA Associates. For more information visit http://www.sovos.com and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Sovos ShipCompliant has been the leader in automated alcohol beverage compliance tools for more than 15 years, providing a full suite of cloud-based solutions to wineries, breweries, distilleries, importers, distributors and retailers to ensure they meet all federal and state regulations for direct-to-consumer and three-tier distribution. ShipCompliant’s solutions reduce risk, lessen the burden of compliance, accelerate bringing products to market and enable revenue growth. With 60+ partner integrations, Sovos ShipCompliant leads a robust ecosystem of technology partnerships, enabling powerful complementary solutions. For more information, visit sovos.com/shipcompliant and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
About American Craft Spirits Association
The American Craft Spirits Association is the only registered national nonprofit trade group representing the U.S. craft spirits industry. Members vote for the 15 democratically elected representatives who make up the Board of Directors, and this Board collectively works to govern the ACSA in a transparent, responsive manner and in accordance with ACSA bylaws. ACSA’s mission is to elevate and advocate for the community of craft spirits producers. For more information, visit AmericanCraftSpirits.org.
Alloy, on behalf of Sovos ShipCompliant
Alexandra S. Clough
On behalf of American Craft Spirits Association
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