While the experts always warn you not to drink alcohol if you’re going to be outdoors in cold weather — Iowans apparently think a drink is a good way to pass the time indoors during winter weather. Lynn Walding, the director of the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division, says the new gust of cold weather may extend the peak holiday liquor sales period. He says beer sales are generally driven by warm weather, and he says liquor sales are conversely driven by cold weather. Walding says January is usually a slow down period for liquor sales, but he says it’ll be interesting to see how the first real snowfall of the year spurs on liquor sales. He says traditionally when people are home, they tend to drink liquor. He says historically a snowstorm means more sales. Walding says there’s one event in January that sees a surge in beer drinking. He says the Superbowl is definitely a “beer event” as he says beer companies do a lot of advertising and a lot of beer is consumed during gatherings to watch the football game. Walding says flavored liquor drinks have helped keep beer sales “flat” in recent years. He says liquor companies have borrowed a page from beer brewers in pushing their products.He says you’re seeing a lot more advertising, while they can’t be on the major networks, Walding says they’re using the cable networks to advertise their flavored products. Walding says one of the biggest sellers is a chocolate flavored vodka. Walding says the 21 to 27 year-olds are the target audience for the flavored liquor drinks — those who otherwise would drink beer. Walding says if sales do stay up a little due to the snow, it would continue what has already been a seven-percent increase in sales so far this fiscal year.
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