Sovos ShipCompliant recently released the first annual Direct-to-Consumer Spirits Shipping Report, in partnership with the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA). The report features in-depth analysis of the craft spirits direct-to-consumer (DtC) channel through a consumer poll, as well as ACSA’s perspective on how the market can continue to make strides.
Quick hits from the 2022 DtC Spirits Shipping Report
Here are five key findings from the report that show the current – and potential future – state of the DtC craft spirits channel.
- Approximately 80% of regular craft spirits drinkers said they want to have the ability to legally purchase craft spirits via DtC shipping to their home.
- The majority (79%) of regular craft spirits drinkers want to see the current laws change to expand DtC spirits shipping.
- Seven in 10 regular craft spirits drinkers said they have tried a craft spirit while traveling that they want to purchase, but it is not available near their home.
- Nearly three-quarters of regular craft spirits drinkers said they would be more likely to try new craft spirits brands if they could buy the spirits via DtC shipping to their home.
- About two-thirds of regular craft spirits drinkers said they have plans to purchase craft spirits via DtC shipping in 2023.
Regulatory change is slow, even with consumer demand
While there is increasing consumer interest in DtC spirits shipping, state legislators as a whole are not moving quickly to help enable these types of sales. Just eight states and Washington, D.C. allow interstate DtC spirits shipping. However, there is lost opportunity for state tax revenue, as 47% of craft spirits drinkers who are likely to purchase craft spirits DtC say they would spend $100 or more a month.
Additionally, ACSA’s data project found that the number of craft spirits producers has grown by 14% over the last five years. Craft spirits sales have also grown, measured by volume (7%) and retail value (10%) during the same time. However, craft spirits only comprise about 5% of the total amount of spirits sold on a volume basis, and about 7% on a retail value basis.
Expanding DtC spirits shipping permissions is a needed and logical next step for the industry, especially as three-tier distribution faces increased constraints. There were 13,254 new approved TTB spirits brand registrations in 2020, increasing to 15,460 in 2021. For 2022, that number is on track to approximately 16,400 new spirits brand registrations. DtC shipping helps producers get their product to market and will meet consumer demand.
Consumer Survey Methodology
These surveys were conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Sovos ShipCompliant between October 20-25, 2022 among 1,958 adults ages 21+, among whom 618 drink craft spirits/liquor at least once per month, and October 27-31, 2022 among 1,942 adults ages 21+, among whom 588 drink craft spirits/liquor at least once per month.
For additional data and insights into the DtC spirits channel, download the 2022 Direct-to-Consumer Spirits Shipping Report.