State liquor sales reach record $898 million in 2013

The Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Liquor Control, on Jan. 23 announced that sales of spirituous liquor reached a record level in 2013, totaling $898 million.

The total represents a 5.8-percent increase ($49 million) over 2012 totals.

Jack Daniel's whiskey led the pack, with 351,125 gallons sold last year.

“Ohioans continue to trade up, buying more of the premium products as consumer tastes become more sophisticated,” Bruce Stevenson, division superintendent, said in the announcement. “Quality customer service and better inventory management are the main ingredients that resulted in record dollar sales without encouraging increased consumption.”

Retail sales were strong in 2013, totaling $635 million, an increase of 7.35 percent. Wholesale sales (liquor purchased by retail permit holders such as restaurants, bars and clubs) also showed strong growth at $264 million, an increase of 2.5 percent, according to the announcement.

Dollar sales grew at a higher rate than consumption in 2013. The division sold a total of 12 million gallons of spirituous liquor through its 466 contract liquor agencies. That’s an increase of only 3 percent over the previous year.

The following were the top-10-selling brands of spirituous liquor in Ohio last year (by gallons sold):

1. Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey – 351,125 gallons

2. Kamchatka Vodka – 294,168 gallons

3. Crown Royal Canadian Whiskey – 286,451 gallons

4. Captain Morgan Spiced Rum – 283,000 gallons

5. Absolut Vodka – 277,729 gallons

6. Bacardi Superior Light Rum – 276,365 gallons

7. Smirnoff Vodka – 266,801 gallons

8. Jagermeister – 247,078 gallons

9. Black Velvet Canadian Whiskey – 230,164 gallons

10. Korski Vodka – 222,357 gallons