Cheers - March/April 2016

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

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Page 27 of 59 28 • March/April 2016 SELECTING the WINNERS The Beverage Information & Insights Group used the following criteria to select this year's Growth Brands winners, based on brands' projected case sales for the 2015 calendar year. Fast Track Brands have exceeded 100,000 nine-liter cases, with double-digit growth in each of the last four years. All Fast Track Brands are at least fi ve years old. Rising Star Brands are less than fi ve years old and have exhibited growth during each year of their existence, reaching at least 20,000 nine-liter cases sold in 2015. Established Growth Brands are top sellers in their category, moving a minimum of 400,000 nine-liter cases annually. They have also grown in sales over each of the past four years. Comeback Brands are previous winners that have rebounded in sales to at least their previous winning level, following a recent decline. T he beverage alcohol market is more crowded every day, as brand introductions grow exponentially and new expressions proliferate. It's diffi cult for a wine or spirit to stand out and capture consumer attention, but this year's Growth Brands Award winners managed to do so. We're proud to honor 132 brands in four categories: Rising Stars, Fast Track Brands, Established Growth Brands and Comeback Brands. Their growth in 2015 was integral to the overall success of the beverage alcohol industry. "Highlighting the brands that contribute the most volume to our industry is very important," says Marina Velez, senior product manager at the Beverage Information & Insights Group, which compiles the data used to determine the Growth Brands winners. "Although the winning brands accounted for roughly one-third of the industry last year, they contributed more than three-quarters of the growth. The Growth Brands are what propel the industry forward, so recognizing them is essential—they deserve to be honored." We spoke to several of the winners about how they grew sales in 2015 and what they're planning to ensure growth continues in 2016. Their tales of success can provide a template for struggling brands to turn things around, and hope for new brands fi ghting for attention. Cheers congratulates all of this year's winners for their accomplishments. These 54 spirits and 78 wines will be honored at the WSWA Convention in Las Vegas during our annual Growth Brands Award ceremony. THIS YEAR'S WINE AND SPIRIT WINNERS SOLD NEARLY 130 MILLION 9-LITER CASES IN 2015, AVERAGING ALMOST 1 MILLION CASES PER WINNER.

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