Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Q&A: Which sells more: beer or wine?

Sales trends in beer, wine, liquor

A friend of mine says more people buy wine than beer in the United States. Is that true?

Not yet, but if the current trend continues wine soon may jump to the top of the list for alcohol of preference.

According to a 2012 National Public Radio report, 47.7 percent of the money spent for alcohol at stores went for beer. That's down slightly from the 48.9 percent in 1982.

Wine was second at 39.7 percent, which is more than a 100 percent increase from 1982, when the figure was 16.2 percent.

Hard liquor was the victim of wine's surging popularity. Dollars spent for liquor accounted for 12.6 percent of the total, down from 34.6 percent in 1982.

While beer sales were stagnant, the craft beer portion of beer sales is booming. In 2012, according to Time magazine, craft beer spending was up 15 percent. And Bloomberg News reported that in 2010 there were 2,000 percent more breweries in the United States than there were in the 1980s.

Another interesting trend is that the number of people buying their drinks at bars or restaurants is rising. In 1982, 76 percent of Americans bought their alcohol at the store and 24 percent at bars or restaurants, according to NPR. In 2011, just 60 percent bought alcohol at stores, and 40 percent bought it at bars or restaurants.

Clarification

A reader wrote about a March 25 column regarding the end of twice-a-day delivery of mail by the U.S. Post Office.

She writes: "Very recently you stated the Post Office stopped delivering mail twice a day in 1950 to save money. I very distinctly remember receiving an afternoon delivery in 1958 in Burlington, Vermont. Perhaps this was only during the Christmas holidays but would appreciate clarification."

Our answer was too definitive. According to the USPS website, "The second residential delivery was discontinued on April 17, 1950, in most cities. Multiple deliveries to businesses were phased out over the next few decades as changing transportation patterns made most mail available for first-trip delivery."

Incidentally, in case you missed it, the USPS recently announced it won't cut Saturday service in August, as previously announced. In its recent resolution to continue funding the government, Congress prohibited the USPS from making the change.

That's at least a temporary break for the 20,000 to 25,000 letter carriers, clerks and mail sorters who were expected to lose their jobs when the USPS ends Saturday delivery. Some of the job losses would have been through attrition, but there also could have been buyouts and reassignments, officials have said. The USPS lost $15.9 billion in the last fiscal year.

Q&A: Which sells more: beer or wine? 04/22/13 [Last modified: Monday, April 22, 2013 6:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays send down Chase Whitley, Andrew Kittredge; add Chih-Wei Hu, acitvate Alex Cobb

    Blogs

    After having to cover more than five innings following a short start by Austin Pruitt, the Rays shuffled their bullpen following Wednesday's game, sending down RHPs Chase Whitley and Andrew Kittredge,

    The Kittredge move was expected, as he was summoned to add depth to the pen Wednesday in advance of RHP Alex …

  2. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred moves closer to wanting a decision on Rays stadium

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred called Wednesday for urgency from Tampa Bay area government leaders to prioritize and move quicker on plans for a new Rays stadium.

    MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred talks with reporters at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.
  3. Six home runs doom Rays in loss to Blue Jays (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — A curve that didn't bounce was the difference Wednesday as the Rays lost 7-6 to the Blue Jays in front of 8,264, the smallest Tropicana field crowd since Sept. 5, 2006.

    Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (11) greets center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) at the plate after his two run home run in the third inning of the game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017.
  4. Jones: Stop talking and start building a new Rays stadium

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was good to see Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred at Tropicana Field on Wednesday, talking Rays baseball and the hope for a new stadium somewhere in Tampa Bay.

    Commissioner Rob Manfred is popular with the media on a visit to Tropicana Field.
  5. Ousted to political Siberia by Corcoran, Kathleen Peters sets sights on Pinellas Commission

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The perks of power in Tallahassee are a coveted chairmanship, a Capitol office in a prime location and a prominent seat on the House floor. Now Rep. Kathleen Peters has lost all three, but here's the twist: Her trip to "Siberia" might actually help her reach the next step on the Tampa Bay political …

    Rep. Kathleen Peters, R-South Pasadena, has been relegated to the back row in the State House chamber, moved to a fouth floor office and stripped of her job as chairwoman of a House subcommittee after a series of disagreements with House Speaker Richard Corcoran. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]