Fiscal year 2013 marked the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s (ABC) 15th consecutive record-setting year for sales, with gross sales surging to $769 million, up $35 million from the previous year, and profits rising to $134 million, an increase of $2 million over last year.
Retail sales grew 5.5 percent and licensee sales (sales to restaurants) increased 1.5 percent from fiscal year 2012. ABC profits combined with state taxes, sales tax, and wine and beer taxes, resulted in an all-time high of $370 million transferred to Virginia’s general fund, up $10 million from last year. In the last five years alone, ABC has contributed more than $1.7 billion to the commonwealth to support state services, including substance abuse prevention and treatment.
“The growth in sales is attributed in part to expanded Sunday sales and the opening of six new stores across the state,” said ABC Chairman J. Neal Insley. “We are also noticing a trend of customers “buying up,” or purchasing more top-shelf brands, a hopeful indication of a recovering economy,” he said.
Jack Daniel’s 7 Black (Tennessee whiskey) topped the list of ABC’s top-selling brands, followed by Smirnoff 80 (domestic vodka); Jim Beam (straight bourbon whiskey); Grey Goose (imported vodka); and Crown Royal (Canadian whisky).
Vodka, however, is clearly Virginia’s category drink of choice, netting a combined $212 million in sales for domestic, imported and flavored vodkas. Whiskey followed with combined sales of $145 million for Canadian, Scotch, Tennessee, Blended, Domestic, Irish, Corn, Rye and Bond whiskeys. Cordials came in third, with sales of $90.5 million.
Corn whiskey (legal moonshine) saw the sharpest increase in sales, jumping 123 percent from $1.7 million to $3.8 million.
“Virginia ABC is committed to providing excellent service and an expanded product selection at its 344 retail stores,” added Insley. “ABC employees have worked efficiently and effectively to achieve these results, and are striving to do the same and better in 2014.”
Virginia ABC Marks 15th Consecutive Record-Setting Year for Sales