StateWays - March/April 2016

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

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25 StateWays ■ ■ March/April 2016 Don Julio built on the success of its Airstream Speakeasy tour from 2014, rolling out a fl eet of vintage pickup trucks from the 1940s era like those founder Don Julio Gonzalez traveled in to and from his agave fi elds. "Consumers are increasingly more interested in the ingredients and history behind their drinks, and the brand's growth can be attributed to a heightened awareness and appreciation for the versatility and complexity of tequila," the Don Julio brand team recently told us. "This is causing consumers and mixologists to seek out and use tequila in a variety of ways." FLAVORS ON THE RISE The recent surge in liqueur sales is led by fl avored whiskeys, which don't fi t neatly into the category and may necessitate a separate distinction in the near future. Fast Track winner Fireball, which grew at exponential rates over the past decade and is now a top-ten spirit at nearly fi ve million cases sold, is both "humbled and excited" to be named a Growth Brands winner and "owes it all to our great Fireball nation of fans," according to Senior Marketing Director Becky Henry. As for the Sazerac brand's plans in 2016? "More of the same – we'll leave the growth in the hands of our nation of fans," she adds. Brown-Forman's sibling brands Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey and Jack Daniel's Tennessee Fire are both Rising Star winners this year after capitalizing on the fl avored whiskey trend. Both brands are focused on promotions that bring younger consumers to the Jack Daniel's brand, including celebrity partnerships with K. Michelle and Mila J. "Popularity in whiskey continues to grow as consumers from other spirit categories are starting to explore whiskey for the fi rst time," says Jack Daniel's Flavors Brand Director Casey Nelson. "Jack Honey and Jack Fire offer the confi dence of a trusted, iconic brand, and the smooth, approachable taste making for an excellent entry point into whiskey." Western Spirits' Bird Dog is another Fast Track winner for the whisky category this year. In 2015, the brand focused heavily in off-premise around displays and seasonal programming in summer and fall. "Being in the fastest- growing category has really helped accelerate brand growth," says Vice President of Marketing Jon Holecz. "With Bird Dog continuing to focus on unique fl avor offerings, we are giving our customers and new consumers a chance to experience something different." OTHER NOTABLE SPIRITS Campari America's namesake brand won a Fast Track award this year, which isn't something you would expect from a 150-year-old cordial. Campari invested heavily in 2016 GROWTH BRAND AWARDS SPIRITS SPIRIT HALL of FAMERS Crown Royal and Ketel One were both inducted into the Growth Brands Hall of Fame in 2015. This year, both Diageo spirits were named Established Growth brands. Crown Royal crossed the 5-million-case mark in 2015 (to 5.3 million), growing by 17.9%—the most among this year's Established Growth Brands. Now a 19-time Growth Brands Award winner, Crown Royal launched a number of extensions in recent years, including Crown Royal Maple and Crown Royal Regal Apple. Its Northern Harvest Rye was also recently named World Whisky of the Year by Jim Murray. "Being recognized as a Growth Brands winner further proves that providing consumers with new, quality whiskies in the portfolio—many of which feature the amazing component whiskies that go into our Deluxe blend—has allowed us to grow as a respected brand for both novice and expert whisky consumers," says vice president of Crown Royal Yvonne Briese. She adds that the rise of rye, and the cocktail movement in general, has benefi ted Crown Royal and driven some of its growth. "Consumers and bartenders are being driven to rye whisky for its spicier tasting profi le that serves classic and craft cocktails," she says. "We've been able to provide a rye whisky that's versatile enough for classic cocktails, but can also be sipped neat or on the rocks." Ketel One grew 0.9% in 2015, during a year in which the vodka category overall is struggling to continue its recent growth trajectory. The brand sold 2.18 million cases, earning Ketel One a 16th Growth Brands Award. "In a year where Ketel One will host a global celebration honoring the Nolet Family Distillery's 325th anniversary, we could not be more proud of this achievement," says eleventh-generation distiller Carl Nolet, Jr. "Our new creative campaign in 2015, 'Our Life's Work,' paid homage to the family's commitment to distilling expertise." The brand will concentrate on classic cocktail trends in 2016, with a focus on the Dutch Mule and Martini, in addition to the anniversary celebration in May. "We are seeing consumers' desire for brands that represent authenticity, heritage and craftsmanship," Nolet says. "They want to connect with products they are choosing and with the story behind them." To capitalize on that trend, Ketel One will continue to convey the brand's heritage stor y, as well as its commitment to quality and taste.

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