The announcement by a producer of barrel staves that it will expand its manufacturing facility demonstrates yet another way in which the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the US: in how we consume potent potables.
While alcohol sales at bars, restaurants, and other entertainment venues has dropped precipitously as the concept of a “night out” has become a distant memory for many at this time, retail sales of alcohol – such as at grocery, convenience, and liquor stores – has risen as US consumers have taken to imbibing at home. Furthermore, Americans are drinking more distilled spirits – bourbon and whiskey, gin, tequila – as well as the traditional beer and wine. Additionally, many consumers are opting for quality instead of quantity, opting for craft beers, fine wines, and premium distilled spirits.
While the reasons for this increase in consumption in distilled spirits are many – from stress relief to adventuresome home bartenders trying their hand at making classic cocktails – this increase in sales means that distillers will need more barrels to age their products prior to sale. And as federal regulations prohibit the re-use of barrels for Kentucky bourbon and other iconic whiskies, distillers must purchase new barrels every year. Hence, the need for more barrel staves.
For more information and discussion of opportunities, see The Freedonia Group’s extensive collection of off-the-shelf research, including the Freedonia Focus coverage of Distilled Spirits: United States and our sister publisher Packaged Facts’ report on US Beverage Market Outlook 2020: Grocery Shopping & Personal Consumption in the Coronavirus Era. Freedonia Custom Research is also available for questions requiring tailored market intelligence