Drinkhacker Reads – 02.05.2014 – Bourbon Tops $1 Billion; Beer Bots Baffle

In a press release sent yesterday afternoon, the Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS) announced that American distilled spirits broke previous records in 2013 by crossing the $1.5 billion threshold, driven largely by bourbon and Tennessee whiskey, which broke the $1 billion sales mark for the first time.

According to Council Senior Vice President for International Trade Christine LoCascio, projected Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey exports overall grew 5.0% from $956.8 million in 2012 to $1.005 billion in 2013, an increase of approximately $50 million.

The projected top six 2013 growth markets for all American distilled spirits by dollar value were Japan (up $22.7 million to $120.8 million), Germany (up $19.6 million to $140.1 million), France (up $14.5 million to $130.5 million), U.K. (up $8.8 million to $159.6 million), Spain (up $6.5 million to $69.8 million) and Panama (up $5.8 million to $11.6 million). The projected top 2013 markets by growth percentage were Nigeria (up 475.5% to $5.0 million), Panama (up 99.0% to $11.6 million), Greece (up 72.5% to $9.2 million), Georgia (up 47.6% to $6.0 million), China (up 40.4% to $11.8 million) and Belgium (up 33.6% to $18.3 million).

The full stack of presentation slides is available for download.

Elsewhere in business news, information powerhouse Just Drinks is reporting that the flavored vodka trend is (finally) sputtering and losing momentum, only gaining a 5.6% increase in sales in 2013, down from 9% in 2010. However, this isn’t stopping companies from introducing new products. 2013 had 50 new flavored vodka launches, a minor increase of 12% from 2012 but a sharp contrast from the 110% growth between 2011 and 2012. [Just Drinks] (Side note: BevNet reports Skyy will introduce two new vodka flavors this month: Georgia Peach and Vanilla Bean.)

Another day, another listicle: this time courtesy of the Spirits Business, which offers up its take on the top ten spirits brand makeovers of recent years. [The Spirits Business]

Finally, researchers in Spain have developed an “electronic tongue” able to identify brands of beer with an incredible accuracy rate of 81.9%. In the study, the scientists claim these bots could potentially replace human beings as a method to maintain quality control and consistency of products. No word on whether this “tongue” can replicate similar rates of success with wine or spirits. [Kurzweil AI]

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