$$$$$$, thanks to vodka

The spirits world -- the drinking kind, not the "Boooo!" kind -- is raising a glass to the latest sales figures released by the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S.

DISCUS says gross revenue for U.S. spirits hit $17 billion in 2006, up about $7 million from the previous year.

The nearly $1 billion in new spirits revenue for 2006 came primarily from the premium price category at $384 million. The super premium category saw $337 million in new revenue while the high-end category saw $308 million in new revenue. The top growth segment was super premium vodka, which accounted for 23% of total industry growth.

Other DISCUS numbers for 2006 compared to the previous year:

• Spirits volume rose 3.8% and the sector gained domestic market share for the fifth year in a row.

• Market share, on a supplier gross revenues basis, was at 32.8% , up by 0.7%.

• Market share for beer slipped to 50.7%, down 0.6%.

• Market share for wine remained at 16.6%.

To Dowd's Spirits Notebook latest entry.
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