Number Crunch

Liquor Sales in 2020 Were the Highest in 40 Years

Bars may be closed, but Americans have kept drinking

7.7%: That’s how much U.S. distillers’ annual revenue increased in 2020. Alcohol retailers bought $31.2 billion in liquor last year, up from $29 billion in 2019, marking the highest growth and sales in the past four decades, according to the Distilled Spirits Council and as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

With bars closed and few live entertainment, sports, or travel opportunities on which to spend their disposable income, consumers are spending it on food and alcohol. High-end spirits have gotten a particularly large boost, accounting for roughly 40% of the overall growth in the spirits industry last year.

It’s not only distillers that are benefiting from a surge in liquor sales. Uber is getting in on the boozy action with its $1.1 billion acquisition of online alcohol delivery startup Drizly, which saw an impressive 300% year-over-year growth in bookings from 2019 to 2020 and is already profitable.

Last month, Marker wrote about how Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson broke records in the distilled spirits industry by selling 300,000 nine-liter cases of his Teremana Tequila, just one year after launching the brand. Johnson joins a growing cohort of celebrity alcohol entrepreneurs, which already includes Sean Combs, George Clooney, Ryan Reynolds, and LeBron James.

Hold the lime while we chase down our Tesla tequila.

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