Jan 31, 2021 - Economy & Business

High-end liquor sales jumped to a 40-year high during pandemic

A man wearing shorts and a face mask stands near another man in a face mask, who is standing on a ladder in front of shelves of alcohol

Frankie Arguinzni, an employee at Supreme Liquor in Cambridge, MA, gets down three 1.75 liter bottles of vodka from the top shelf in April 2020. Photo: Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

High-end liquor gained its sharpest increase in sales in at least 40 years after the coronavirus pandemic brought lockdowns across the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: Adults in a peer-reviewed JAMA report said last September that they drank 14% more often over a five day period in 2020 than they did in 2019.

By the numbers: U.S. distillers' revenue grew by 7.7% to $31.2 billion in 2020, according to revenue data from the Distilled Spirits Council.

  • The trade body told the WSJ that figure marked the highest jump in sales in four decades, although it fits a long-term trend of rising U.S. spirit sales.
Go deeper