Iowans are buying cheaper brands of booze, and that led to much lower revenues for the state controlled liquor market during the recent holiday period. Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division Administrator, Lynn Walding, says the economy and the weather have had an impact on revenue the last three months.
Walding says collectively, the weather and economy turned liquor sales downward, although the state is still a little ahead of last year when it comes to overall sales. But he says sales the last three months in the holiday period were down compared to one year ago.
Walding says the drop in dollar sales means a drop in the money turned over to the state. Walding says in the first six months of the fiscal year that began in July, they’ve generated over $15-million, which compares to $48-million generated for the same period last year. Walding says people are buying less expensive brands than they did last year.
He says the liquor sales are actually up 2.67% this year, but that compares to four our of the last six years where they saw double-digit increases in dollar sales. Walding says consumers had definitely been trading up and buying more expensive items, but that has switched to where they are not trading down and buying lower-price value items.
Walding says they started to feel the economic impact about this time last year and the second half of the 2009 fiscal year was not solid after a strong first six months of the year. Walding says it will be interesting to see how the second half of this fiscal year compares to that second half of 2009 when the numbers started to drop.