Sales of grocer-brand liquor were 15.6% higher in 2022 than in 2021, the Private Label Manufacturers Association said. Overall, grocery stores sold $62 million of distilled spirits.
Circana, meanwhile, said private label wine sales increased 9.1% to $52.2 million during the 52 weeks ending June 18.
Those strongly positive numbers aren't going unnoticed by grocery executives. Albertsons just launched a new direct-to-consumer brand of wines, some costing more than $1,000, and Circle K introduced its first wine line in 3,000 stores. The selection ranges from under $8 to $25.
PLMA said liquor wasn't the only category to post strong gains last year. In fact, store brands in general had a double-digit surge, which PLMA attributed to being embraced by American shoppers as a dependable ally against persistent inflation and other personal financial hardships. That was not unprecedented. During past periods of economic difficulties, such as the 2008 recession and the years following, store brands sales increased sharply.
Another driver of the 2022 gains is store brands and the retailers who market them have been very responsive to shoppers who, in the wake of the pandemic, became more
concerned about how products are made and what's in them, from their raw ingredients and holistic health attributes and qualities to their sustainability in terms of manufacture, use and disposal.