A spokesperson for the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division says liquor sales will be up for the state fiscal year that ends June 30th. Tonya Dusold looked at the numbers as the budget year winds down.
“We project to break the quarter-billion dollar mark in liquor wholesales this year, which is up about five-point-four percent over the last fiscal year. We’re looking at being about 255 to 256-million dollars in sales,” according to Dusold. While the dollar sales are up, the amount of money returned to the state isn’t expected to change much.
“This will be a year where our revenue distribution is pretty close to flat. Spirits are up a little bit, wine is flat and beer is down a little bit and so that’ll end with us of having a revenue distribution fairly close to what we saw in fiscal 12,” Dusold says. IABD generated profit of just over $115-million in the 2012 fiscal year.
The weather seems to impact everything in Iowa, and Dusold says alcohol sales were no exception. “Sales were up during the first half of the fiscal year more than they have been during the second half. So, since January through currently they are more flat,” Dusold explains.
“That can be a lot of different things. We haven’t had the nicest of weather this year, which actually can have a decent impact on alcohol sales overall.” One thing Dusold did notice is buyer “trading up” in the alcohol they buy. “From value brands up into the more premium. And the way we measure that is how much is revenue up versus gallons. Gallons are up, but just a tiny tiny bit, whereas that revenue is up just about five percent. And with the 50-percent mark up, that is how that is reflected,” Dusold says.
Dusold says the change in law that allowed convenience and grocery stores to sell hard liquor had an initial impact as those facilities stocked up, but she says they have not noticed any big impact in sales from those facilities carried over into this fiscal year.