Philadelphians Drink A Lot of Vodka and Barefoot Wines

plcb 940

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board just released its 2012-13 Retail Year In Review report, which tallies up the wine and spirits sales throughout the state. Philadelphia is not the biggest purchaser by county. The heavy drinkers of Pittsburgh and the rest of Allegheny County have that distinction, with Philadelphia coming in at a close second, followed by Montgomery, Bucks and Chester counties, in that order. So as a region, we are crushing it.

Below, a look at some of the facts and figures from this year’s report.


Here is how Philadelphia spent its wine-and-booze money last year:

Alcohol
Sales
Asian/Sake$497,674
Box Wine$6,718,188
Brandy/Cognac$16,341,462
Cocktails/Mixers$4,102,326
Cordials$13,546,663
Dessert Wine$3,926,861
Gin$7,035,745
Rum$17,930,451
Sparkling Wine$8,355,278
Table Wine$59,418,941
Tequila$8,032,125
Vodka$51,220,870
Whiskey$25,712,912

• Statewide, vodka blows away the competition for purchases by spirit type, accounting for over $365.9 million in total sales when you combine the vodka and flavored vodka categories. The brands with the most sales were Grey Goose ($14.1 million) and Absolut ($10.9 million). By category, bourbon is a distant second with $106.4 million in sales. Next on the list: spiced rum, shooters (schnapps and liqueurs), and... Chardonnay.

• We spend more on 5L boxes of wine than we do on gin as a state.

• In Philadelphia, Chester, Bucks, Delaware and Montgomery counties, we spend more on table wine than we do on any other individual category, including vodka. By comparison, the folks out yonder in Mifflin County buy more whiskey than they do any other category, with cordials in second place.

• Of the Philadelphia-area counties, Bucks saw the largest jump in purchases compared to the previous year, with a 4.73-percent increase.

• The most popular brands in the Philadelphia region based on units sold (in this order): Barefoot, Jacquin's, Sutter Home, Barcardi, Smirnoff, Yellow Tail, Absolut, Woodbridge, Cavit and Franzia. Jacquin's is the most popular brand in all other regions.

• Statewide, Wild Turkey American Honey Liqueur was, by far, the most popular type of flavored whiskey based on dollar sales.

• The wine and spirits store in Pennsylvania with the most sales is the one at 2238 Washington Avenue with $40.8 million in sales. But it's really not a fair comparison, because that store is a fulfillment center for licensees. In other words, it's where bars and restaurants go to buy their wine and booze, which is why the average transaction amount is so high: $2,089. The regular store with the highest sales in the state is the one at 401 Franklin Mills Circle with $24.7 million in sales. On the top 10 list of stores with the highest sales, the other regional stores are: the West Chester store on Paoli Pikes (third place, $24.3 million); Ardmore (eighth place, $14.1 million); and 1218 Chestnut (ninth place, $13.4 million).

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • Dan

    Interesting stats which confirm what we all know: most drinkers have no taste.

    Despite the craft cocktail movement, vodka out sells gin by a factor of more than 7. Vodka is a purely neutral spirit that outside of the moscow mule (itself a highly overrated drink) is used in virtually no cocktails of any worth. And those flavored ones are simply an abomination.
    Sadly this is why you can get every different kind of vodka on the planet at the PLCB, but I can’t get a single craft gin outside of Bluecoat or, if i’m lucky, Aviation.

  • Dan

    Plus, no Pittsburgh doesn’t drink more than we do. We just leak across the borders to DE and NJ. All good Philadelphians know about the Wegmans/Canals run…

    • Dick_Wolf

      which is exactly why Delaware County doesn’t make the tops of the list.

  • juke

    Franklin Mills also serves as a fulfillment center…

    • vfiorillo

      It used to. Not anymore. The fulfillment center moved to Feasterville. And the PLCB does not list Franklin Mills as a fulfillment center on this report.