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 28 of 59 29 March/April 2016 • SPIRITED GROWTH By Jeremy Nedelka The spirits industry is showing consistent growth, but the shake-up surrounding consumer preferences continue at the category level. Vodka— particularly fl avored vodka—is leveling off after more than a decade of expansion, while whiskey and tequila are vying to take its place long-term as the fastest-growing spirit. This year's list of Growth Brands winners includes 54 spirits in four categories: Fast Track Brands, Rising Stars, Established Growth Brands and Comeback Brands. Topping the list are tequila and liqueurs (which includes fl avored whiskeys) with 10 representatives each. Close behind are American whiskey and vodka, with nine each. Industry-wide research from the Beverage Information & Insights Group (BIIG), which compiled the sales data used to determine the Growth Brands Awards, shows how much current industry trends impacted the winners list. "American whiskey and imported whiskies were both up more than 4% in 2015, as was the tequila category," says Marina Velez, BIIG senior product manager for data and insights. "Those categories are well represented in the list of winners. Consumers continue to be drawn to bourbon, and that trend is expanding to other brown spirits." As the last of the Millennial generation reaches legal drinking age, 21-34 year old consumers' preferences are having an increasing impact on beverage alcohol sales. "Younger consumers are embracing new expressions, particularly with fl avored whiskey," Velez adds. "The success of Fireball has led to the introduction of honey, cinnamon and other fl avors in brown spirits, which are doing well both on- and off-premise." Expect the current trends to continue in the near term, with gin and rum continuing to lose market share to brown spirits, and fl avors shifting from confectionary vodkas to sweet and spicy whiskeys. "I think fl avored whiskeys will continue to rise and fl avored vodkas will continue to fall," Velez says. "Tequila could be the next breakout category as whiskey drinkers continue to experiment. One thing we've learned about Millennials is that they're not brand- or category-loyal, so everyone is waiting to see where they turn next." What impact will these spirit category trends have on wine and beer? Velez says 2015 was a transitional year for beverage alcohol, as brands are learning to adapt to changing habits. FAST TRACK BRANDS: DISTILLED SPIRITS Winners must have exceeded 100,000 9-liter cases sold in 2015, and showed double-digit growth each year for the last four years. All brands must be at least fi ve years old. % Growth Brand Supplier 2012 2013 2014 2015 p 2014/15 Fireball Sazerac Co. 770 2,380 3,940 4,950 25.6% Tito's Handmade Vodka Fifth Generation 850 1,200 2,200 2,765 25.7% Bulleit Diageo 260 450 736 883 20.0% Familia Camarena E & J Gallo Winery 420 571 725 800 10.3% Deep Eddy Heaven Hill Brands 60 190 455 705 54.9% RumChata Agave Loco Brands 325 460 540 600 11.1% Knob Creek Beam Suntory 193 231 290 358 23.2% Don Julio Diageo 225 270 318 356 11.9% Woodford Reserve Brown-Forman Corp. 181 221 276 333 20.7% Hendrick's William Grant & Sons 174 209 246 288 17.1% Evan Williams Flavored Reserves Heaven Hill Brands 142 165 195 218 11.8% Tullamore Dew William Grant & Sons 95 115 142 178 25.4% Bird Dog Western Spirits 21 62 115 157 36.3% Buffalo Trace Sazerac Co. 66 96 123 151 22.8% Espolon Tequila Campari America 75 100 112 145 29.5% Prairie Organic Phillips Distilling 17 39 80 120 50.0% Campari Campari America 66 75 83 103 23.5% (p) Preliminary Source: The Beverage Information & Insights Group. For more data, visit 2016 GROWTH BRAND AWARDS SPIRITS (thousands of 9-liter cases)

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