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Truth in Numbers

Drinks have come a long way in the past five years.


 

Imbibe’s May/June 2011 issue marks our fifth anniversary, and we’re amazed by how much has happened in that time. The past five years have certainly been a great time to be a drinks enthusiast, but don’t take our word for it—check out this snapshot of how things have evolved, by the numbers.



 

 

A Cup of Excellence
Demand for single-origin coffees has skyrocketed over the past five years. In 2010, the average Cup of Excellence auction price for a pound of green coffee beans purchased at origin was $8.67—more than double the 2005 average of $4.12. That reflects the wholesale price roasters are paying for raw product. It doesn’t include the costs of shipping, roasting, packaging and marketing. [Alliance for Coffee Excellence]

Fill It With Premium
Spirits continue to grow across all categories, with super-premium offerings leading the charge. Super-premium spirits grew 45.8% by volume from 2005 to 2010. Irish Whiskey is currently the fastest-growing whiskey category in the U.S. with a 133% increase in high-end premium and super-premium offerings between 2005 and 2010. In 2010, super-premium bourbons and super-premium Tennessee whiskeys were up 77.3% by volume over 2005 figures. Single-malt scotch showed a 42.3% increase over the same period. Vodka, which boasts the most total volume of all spirits categories, continues to grow, with 2010 volume up 29.4% over 2005. In 2010, super-premium gins were up 25.2% by volume over 2005 figures. [DISCUS]

More, More and More
With so many new products entering the market, bars and spirits shops are having to add new shelving. The number of new spirits introduced in 2010 was up 73.9% over 2005. Vodka made up 34.2% of all new spirits products introduced in 2010 (amazing, considering the vodka market was already teeming with offerings), followed by tequila, with a 19.2% increase, and cordials and liqueurs, with a 14.3% increase. [DISCUS]

Aging Gracefully
More than 5 million barrels of bourbon and other whiskeys are currently aging in Kentucky, the highest inventory since 1982. [Kentucky Distiller’s Assn., DISCUS]

Small Is the New Big
The business of micro-distilling has been booming in America, with new distilleries sprouting across the country and producing everything from absinthe to rum. In fact, the number of craft distillers in the U.S. has risen from a mere 69 in 2003 to 264 today.  [American Distilling Institute]

Tall Tales
2010 was the biggest year ever for Tales of the Cocktail, the 7-year-old national cocktail festival. During the five-day event, Tales bartenders went through 2,902 mint sprigs, 1,320 egg whites and 162 gallons of lime juice. [Tales of the Cocktail]

Brewery Boom
Americans have continued to embrace craft beer. In 1980, there were less than 100 breweries operating in the U.S., but thanks to the rise in small, quality-focused breweries, by 2010 the brewery count had swelled to 1,759 nationwide (97% of them were craft breweries). In 2010, the 1,716 craft brewers operating in the U.S. made 9.1 million barrels of beer, up 28 percent from the 7.1 million barrels of craft beer produced in 2006. [Brewers Association]

It’s in the Flavor
Craft beer continues to push the flavor envelope and create new styles. The three most-entered categories at the 2010 World Beer Cup in Chicago were Wood- and Barrel-Aged Strong Beer, Herb and Spice or Chocolate Beer and American-Style India Pale Ale, with more than 100 entries each, well above the competition average of 37 entries per category. [World Beer Cup]

A Sommelier of a Different Sort
The Chicago-based Craft Beer Institute has certified 198 Cicerones® (beer sommeliers) since the program started in 2008. The youngest certified Cicerone® in the country is Zachary Rosen of Isla Vista, California. He passed the exam on his 22nd birthday in June 2009. [Craft Beer Institute]

Au Revoir, France
In 2010, for the first time in history, the U.S. surpassed France as the world’s largest wine-consuming nation. Americans consumed 329.7 million cases of wine in 2010 (the French consumed 320.6 million cases). [winebusiness.com]

More Wine, More Often
Wine drinkers are getting younger, and people of all ages are drinking wine more often. More than 50% of Americans ages 21-33 drank wine at least once a week in 2010, up from 37% in 2005. Of Americans ages 34-45, 62% drank wine at least once a week last year, up from 41% in 2005. [Wine Market Council]

 


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