Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Divisions spokesperson, Tyler Ackerson, says sales were up nearly five percent. “Our total sales were $320 million during the fiscal year — and that was a 4.7% increase over the previous fiscal year,” according to Ackerson. “And then we generated a record $120 million transferred to the general fund.”
The percentage increase in the amount of sales dollars generated was about one percent behind the increase last year. But the dollar amount of sales has now increased by more than 4% in each of the last four fiscal years. The number of gallons of liquor sold increase by just under 3% to about 5.66 million gallons.
The IABD handles the sale of all hard liquor or spirits in the state. “We saw a 2.8% increase in spirit sales. Iowans also seemed to prefer wine and also Iowa made beer,” Ackerson says. “Wine sales increased one-point-one percent and Iowa-made beer sales actually increased a staggering 11.1%. Black Velvet whiskey continued its long-standing position as the top-selling brand of liquor sold in the state. But Ackerson says there are now many more competitors in the market.
“We’ve actually had a 21.5% growth in the different types of products that we have. That can be different flavors, new brands,” he explains, “so there’s more choices in terms of spirit products.” This is the time of year when there are a lot of holiday parties, and Ackerson says the sales for those parties and the gifts happen in the months leading up to the holidays as retailers stock up.
“We see a lot of purchases happening October and November and then the first part of December, those are typically our busiest months,” Ackerson says. “However we are starting to see increased growth in our summer months as well — to the point where those summer are actually competing with our October, November and December months in terms of products sold.”
The sales for October, November and December of this year are included in the new fiscal year sales. Ackerson says sales are already off to a good start. “I think they are going to surpass last year actually. In November I believe we were about 11 percent above the November that happened during Fiscal Year 2018. So, we are seeing explosive growth this year compared to last year,” Ackerson says.
American vodka products just edged out Canadian whiskey — 22 to 20 percent — for the top overall amount of liquor sold. Templeton Rye’s 4-year rye whiskey was the most popular Iowa-made spirit.
You can see the full report on the IABD website.