Idaho’s Best-Selling Liquors: Tito’s Vodka is Favorite

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Patrons lined the sidewalk outside the 17th and State Street liquor store in 2020 after Gov. Brad Little ordered Idahoans to stay home except for essential business.

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As Tony Faraca watched the meteoric rise of Tito’s Craft Vodka, he knew something special was going on.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” he told the Idaho Statesman last year.

Idaho liquor stores sold Tito for $ 9,234,198 in fiscal 2020. That was up from $ 7,267,186 in 2019 – already a huge number.

Fast forward to now. Faraca, the chief financial officer of the Idaho State Liquor Division, reviews Tito’s sales figures for fiscal 2021, which ended June 30.

The new brand? A staggering amount of $ 11,517,123. That’s a staggering 25% increase from the previous mind-blowing year – and by far the highest number for a single mind in Idaho history.

Idaho has a favorite alcohol. It is made in Austin, Texas. And we really, really I like this.

“It’s amazing,” Faraca said. “Growth on its numbers. I mean, 25 percent. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Wait, didn’t he say that last year too? That’s the point. Tito’s, which is the best-selling vodka in the United States, continues to break through the walls of sales. It wasn’t that long ago that the top three or four spirits in Idaho each racked up between $ 4 million and $ 5 million a year. Now they’re all over $ 7 million, while Tito is tending towards $ 12 million.

“We’re breaking away from the pack now,” said Faraca, “especially with Tito’s. It really is just on another level.

Over the past two years in Idaho, general alcohol sales were at the top level. Statewide, they reached $ 297 million in fiscal 2021, up from $ 258.6 million the year before, a 15% increase. Idaho was up 12% the year before.

“For us, being in double digits is something,” said Faraca. “This has not happened here since 2007.”

So, are our livers marinated? Not necessarily. There are several reasons for the growth – some related to the coronavirus pandemic, others to the growing population of Idaho.

As more and more people moved here, the boom has resulted in increased purchases of alcohol. Nationally, alcohol sales increased during the early stages of the pandemic as people stocked up – and worked more from home. And during the closures, Washington citizens have crossed the northern Idaho state border in greater numbers to purchase alcohol at Gem State stores and to drink and dine at our restaurants. , said Faraca.

Either way, things started to slow down in the first three months of the new fiscal year. “We are forecasting 4% growth this year,” he said. “And we’re below that right now. We’re at about 3 percent.

“I think we’re just normalizing. The migration of the population has slowed down a bit. And people seem to have somehow returned to more normal drinking routines. In terms of numbers, it looks like a boring, if not slow, year of liquor growth right now – three months later. “

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Tito’s Craft Vodka is produced in Austin, Texas. by Tito Facebook

Idaho’s Favorite Liquors

Here are Idaho’s top-selling liquors in FY2021 based on dollar sales.

1. Tito’s artisanal vodka: Is it the proximity marketing of Tito at the local level? Is it the so-called “artisanal” distillation? Is it the fact that Tito’s emphasizes that it is gluten-free? “I don’t even know how to explain it,” Faraca said. “… I think there are just a lot of little things that come from working together in synergy. “

2. Pendleton Canadian Whiskey: For the second year in a row, Pendleton has earned a spot on this list. Hood River Distillers, based in Oregon, sold Pendleton to Proximo Spirits, the parent company of Jose Cuervo, in 2018. “They’re doing more on the marketing side of things, and that clearly makes a difference,” said Faraca.

3. Cinnamon Fireball Whiskey: America’s favorite plan spawned imitators, but the original Canadian creation is still on fire around those parts.

4. Royal Canadian Crown Whiskey (regular unflavored): Years ago, this was Idaho’s biggest seller by volume. Not anymore (thank you Tito!), But it’s still a strength. Oh, and check out this, whiskey purists: Flavored Crown Royal Regal Apple ranks # 11 statewide in terms of total dollar sales.

5. Jack Daniel’s old n ° 7: Always a classic mixed with cola. The iconic Tennessee whiskey with the famous black label has more than $ 6.5 million in annual sales in Idaho.

Here are Idaho’s most popular spirits by volume – total ounces sold overall – in FY2021:

1. Tito’s artisanal vodka: No one approached Tito. For $ 22.95 for a 750 milliliter bottle, Tito’s has kind of found the perfect marketing mix of high end and affordable. And as the shelves fill with flavored vodkas, Tito’s stays pure. “They don’t make flavors. They don’t do anything else, ”Faraca said. “It’s just Tito’s usual vodka.”

2. Cinnamon Fireball Whiskey: Drink it. Brush your teeth with it. But for proof, try not to gobble up this candy-like liquid.

3. Black Velvet Blended Canadian Whiskey (regular): “Black Velvet will bring you to your knees,” Alannah Myles sang in 1989. But that won’t do it in your wallet in 2021. Not when a big 1.75 liter bottle costs less than $ 20.

4. Vodka Smirnoff (regular): Vodka is the best-selling product nationwide and Tito’s leads the category. But in the whole world? Smirnoff is the best-selling vodka on the planet.

5. Platinum 7x Vodka: “Distilled seven times for exceptional purity and a smooth, polished finish,” the company boasts, “Platinum 7x has raised the bar on what it means to be smooth.” Uh … not exactly. Still, you can buy a 1.75-liter bottle for under $ 18 when it’s on sale, according to the Liquor Division website, MixBlendEnjoy.com.

This story was originally published September 28, 2021 1:44 pm.

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Entertainment writer and opinion columnist Michael Deeds chronicles the good life in Boise: restaurants, concerts, culture, cool stuff. Deeds materialized at the Idaho Statesman as an intern in 1991 before taking on roles such as sports writer, editor, and music critic. Over the years, his freelance work has ranged from writing album reviews for the Washington Post to advertising for Boise in the airline magazine you left on the plane. Deeds holds a BA in Editorial Journalism from the University of Nebraska.


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