80% of Consumers Want to Buy Craft Spirits via DtC Shipping

That's according to the inaugural Sovos ShipCompliant DtC spirits shipping report.  

To compile the just-released report, The Harris Poll conducted online consumer surveys of 618 and 588 regular craft spirits drinkers, defined as adults 21+ who drink craft spirits at least once per month. The survey found 73% of regular craft spirits drinkers want to purchase craft spirits via DtC in the future, with 74% desiring to try new products that are not available locally. Additionally, 71% of regular craft spirits drinkers say they have tried a craft spirit while traveling that they wish they could purchase, however it is not available near their home, the report shows.

“With the launch of our Direct-to-Consumer Spirits Shipping Report, the findings of this survey support the growing sense that consumers will continue to desire and demand the convenience of direct shipping to their homes for all kinds of items,” said Larry Cormier, vice president, general manager, Sovos ShipCompliant. “And the fact that 47% of regular craft spirits drinkers say they would spend more than $100 a month on craft spirits via DtC shipping highlights a missed opportunity for states that could be collecting tax revenue on every shipment, and also for the spirits industry, which is severely limited by the current regulatory landscape.” he said.

There are about 2,290 craft distilleries located in all 50 states across the country and about 122,000 spirits brands. However, DtC spirits shipping is only legal in 8 locales (7 states and D.C.). From the Harris Poll survey, 79% of craft spirits drinkers would like to see laws change in order to expand DtC shipping, indicating a clear need for change.

“Direct-to-consumer shipping is poised to be a major imperative step in the evolution of the spirits marketplace, especially for craft distilleries,” said Margie A.S. Lehrman, CEO of the American Craft Spirits Association. “The current DtC market is small but is expected to grow and mature, particularly for smaller premium brands that consumers are demanding in different markets across the country.”

Other notable findings and trends described in the 2022 Direct-to-Consumer Spirits Shipping Report include:

  • Consumer desire for DtC shipping of craft spirits is on par with craft beer: When it comes to products that regular craft spirits drinkers would like to be able to purchase and have shipped directly to their homes/someone else’s home via a third-party carrier, craft spirits (46%) ranks similar to beer (49%).
  • The future of DtC spirits shipping is bright: 73% of regular craft spirits drinkers say they are likely to purchase craft spirits via DtC in the future, with 64% of regular craft spirits drinkers planning to purchase craft spirits via DtC shipping in 2023.
  • Changing laws on DtC spirits shipping will enhance the marketplace: From the Harris Poll survey, 76% of consumers would be more likely to try new craft spirits brands if they were able to be purchased via DtC shipping. Despite such broad interest among Americans for direct-to-consumer shipping of spirits, there has been limited success in efforts to expand DtC shipping.

The Direct-to-Consumer Spirits Shipping Report is a new collaboration between Sovos ShipCompliant and the American Craft Spirits Association, which examines the craft spirits purchasing behaviors and intent of U.S. consumers.

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