Beverage Dynamics

Beverage Dynamics - March/April 2017

Beverage Dynamics is the largest national business magazine devoted exclusively to the needs of off-premise beverage alcohol retailers, from single liquor stores to big box chains, through coverage of the latest trends in wine, beer and spirits.

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Page 46 of 87 March/April 2017• Beverage Dynamics 47 2017 GROWTH BRANDS SPIRITS 2017 GROWTH BRANDS SPIRITS TOP GROWTH BRANDS SPIRITS CATEGORIES Category Number of winners % Share Whisk(e)y 16 29% Tequila 14 25% Vodka 8 15% Rum 6 11% Cordial/Liqueur 6 11% Source: The Beverage Information & Insights Group (p) Preliminary. TOP GROWTH BRANDS SPIRITS SUPPLIERS Supplier Number of winners % Share Heaven Hill Brands 9 16% Diageo 7 13% Brown-Forman Corp. 5 9% William Grant & Sons 4 7% Beam Suntory 3 5% Constellation Brands 3 5% Pernod Ricard USA 3 5% Source: The Beverage Information & Insights Group (p) Preliminary. on's Master of Whiskey Science Dave Quinn and micro-brewer Franciscan Well's Head Brewer, Shane Long, has been embraced by bartenders and consumers. Caskmates is fi nished in craft beer barrels, and Jameson's Drinking Buddies program closes the pro- duction loop, by offering beers fi nished in whiskey barrels. TEQUILA TAKES OFF There's little doubt which category will follow whiskey as the next big consumer trend. Sales of tequila rose 5.0% in 2016, led by gains at the top of the pricing spectrum. The premiumization trend in spirits is serving tequila brands well, and they're tak- ing advantage of the attention by releasing quality products and sharing their unique stories with consumers. "Consumers are hyper-focused on quality products and will- ing to pay more," says Christine Moll, tequila category marketing director at Campari America. "The rapidly growing interest in craft cocktails has also positively impacted the tequila business, as bartenders get more creative and expose consumers to te- quila beyond the margarita." Campari's Espolon tequila is a Fast Track Brand for 2016 after selling 200,000 cases, a 37.9% increase over 2015. In the coming year, Espolon will launch a 1.75-liter bottle and continue its pop- ular Black Market activation, which creates an immersive experi- ence for consumers at select bars and cities. Established Growth Brand Sauza is also a Hall of Fame win- ner this year, selling more than 2.2 million cases in 2016 and increasing sales by 7.2%. "We've noticed that consumers' drink-led occasions are be- coming group-led, or social gatherings among friends," says Malini Patel, vice president of tequila and innovation at Beam Suntory. "Tequila has also become a preferred spirit for mixol- ogists, and as a result we're seeing innovative new Margarita recipes that incorporate premium spirits." Ultra-premium tequila Avion is a Rising Star yet again, growing 10.6% to 146,000 cases in 2016. The Pernod Ricard brand recently began offering hand-selected barrels of Avion Reposado to on- and off-premise accounts, including a bespoke label and aging statement on each bottle. The brand also launched a new advertising campaign, Te- quila Elevated to an Art, which showcases Avion's Mexican roots and tells the story of its production in Jesus Maria, Mexico. Campari's Olmeca Altos, also a Rising Star after growing an impressive 28% to 160,000 cases sold, continues to emphasize its creation by bartenders, for bartenders. The tequila in 2016 fo- cused on cross-merchandising with pairing items, including fresh food and Tecate beer. In 2017, it will expand its Tahona Society program, which educates bartenders on the overall culture of te- quila and modern Mexico. Fellow Rising Star DeLeon tequila grew 25% and is a fi rst- time winner after selling 20,000 cases in 2016. The Diageo brand partnered with Sean "Diddy" Combs on a number of fronts, including nightclub activations, a fi ve-city market tour, point-of-sale offerings, samplings and live performances in se- lect markets At the end of the partnership, DeLeon, Combs and Billboard launched the DeLeon 100 to celebrate cultural artists nationwide. VODKA INCHES AHEAD The largest spirits category—more than 73 million cases sold in 2016—continues to grow, albeit slowly. Sales rose 0.6% last year as fl avor proliferation reached its apex. Imports and a handful of American-made vodkas are prop- ping up sagging sales of fl avored vodkas, as consumers explore other categories. "Consumer demand for great tasting spirit brands at an affordable price is a trend we've seen and benefi tted from," says Frank Polley, vice president of trade marketing for Tito's Handmade Vodka. "There's also a clear demand for unfl avored vodka vs. fl avored vodka, and we're seeing more and more retailers shifting their shelf strategy to better align with the products consumers are looking for."

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