February 3, 2015 / 4:01 PM / 5 years ago

U.S. spirits sales rise in 2014 on strong growth in whiskey and bourbon

NEW YORK, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Sales of distilled spirits in the United States by industry suppliers rose 4 percent to $23.1 billion in 2014, driven by strong growth in brown liquors, according to an industry trade group.

The Distilled Spirits Council, which represents companies like Diageo PLC, Pernod Ricard SA and Brown-Forman Corp, said that overall, U.S. sales volumes rose 2.2 percent to 210 million cases. Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey volumes rose 7.4 percent. Meanwhile, Irish whiskey and single malt scotch were up 9.1 percent and 6.4 percent respectively.

Vodka sales volumes rose just 3.7 percent. Overall, vodka is facing slower growth in the United States as newer generations of drinkers shift to bourbon and whiskey.

The group estimates that retail sales of distilled spirits in the U.S. market are nearly $70 billion. It also reported a slight increase in market share versus beer for the fifth straight year. (Reporting by Anjali Athavaley; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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