Stateways Jan-Feb 2013

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 27 of 35

Light, Mixable … and Innovating Canadian whisky makers are bringing out new flavored products, and superpremium and high-proof expressions to try to spur consumer interest. By Kate Strandness anadian whisky may have surged nearly a century ago when it became the choice beverage during Prohibition, but it's far from being a forgotten spirit. Like any fashion trend, from 1980s neon to skinny jeans, what goes around comes around — and the same rule applies to Canadian whiskies. The category is seeing a revitalization of sorts as younger consumer interest drifts toward the "what's old is new again" mentality. "Not only are people experimenting with new and different flavors, textures and ingredients, they are bringing back long-forgotten cocktails," says Joanne Vinci, marketing manager of Black Velvet Whisky at Constellation Brands. "Canadian whisky was the Prohibition era spirit. So it fits into this trend quite naturally." Numbers have yet to prove this resurgence — Canadian whisky sales were slightly down nationwide, by 0.5%, according to Beverage Information Group data. [In C 28 the control states, Canadian Whisky sales actually gained by 0.3% to more than 4.1 million 2 liter cases.] But Canadian whiskies are still flourishing. With case sales of more than 15.3 million nationally in 2011, they garner 33.1% of the total whiskey sales and 59.8% of imported whiskey sales nationally, as noted in the 2012 Beverage Information Group Liquor Handbook. Regardless of what the numbers say, brand managers will assert that Canadian whisky is a category on the upswing as younger consumers discover it and experiment with it. "Canadian whisky is innovating to meet the needs of whisky consumers by introducing flavored expressions, high-proof variants, and premium/superpremium products," Vinci says. The premise is that these innovations, like the flavored whiskies following the popularity of other flavored spirits, will attract a younger audience. "A growing female interest in whisky is also a very promising trend for the category and a great opportunity for blended Canadian producers like us," says Yvonne Briese, vp of marketing, Diageo North American Whisky. Coupled StateWays I I January/February 2013

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Stateways - Stateways Jan-Feb 2013