Cheers

Cheers April/May 2018

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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www.cheersonline.com 34 • April/May 2018 the brand's growth as more consumers are interested in lesser- known, high-quality whisky with unique stories." Monkey Shoulder also recently launched its fi rst large-scale consumer activation in the U.S. with Monkey Mixer, a giant, mobile cocktail-pouring machine (based on a cement mixer) that will travel throughout the U.S. in 2018. Three-year old Redemption Rye from Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits grew more than 60% in 2017 and earned itself a Rising Star award. Rye's resurgence is a logical extension of today's cocktail culture as consumers return to vintage favorites, according to spirits vice president Susan Kilgore. "Redemption has been successful at penetrating some of the most infl uential cocktail accounts in the country, and the brand's growth is being led on- premise," she adds. "We activated a program around Repeal Day that included a recipe contest, a podcast sponsorship on the rise and fall of Prohibition and on-premise trivia events." BRIGHT SPOTS IN DOWN CATEGORIES While there were more whiskey winners than any other spirits category this year, some vodka, rum and gin brands stood out as well. They include a mix of perennial category leaders and newcomers that are reshaping the market. Hall of Famer Svedka vodka launched its blue raspberry fl avor in 2017, which helped the brand grow 2% to 4.4 million cases. "Our new fl avor was inspired by the palate of thrill-seekers who crave extreme fl avors, a trend seen across the food and beverage space sought after by Millennials," says vice president of marketing Carl Evans. "Throughout 2017 we continued to highlight Svedka as a brand that combines quality vodka, fl avor innovation, high-impact packaging and a distinctive personality." Fast Track winner Western Son vodka, which nearly doubled its sales to 101,000 cases in 2017, is taking advantage of consumer interest in American vodka. "Our premium Texas vodka has experienced exceptional growth as consumers look for quality and crafted products that aren't mass-produced," Spirits Comeback Brands (000 9-liter cases) '16-'17 Brand Supplier 2014 2015 2016 2017p % Change Jack Daniel's Country Cocktails Brown-Forman Corp. 805 869 854 985 15.3% Remy Martin Remy Cointreau USA 626 750 815 877 7.6% Grand Marnier Campari America 472 488 488 516 5.7% Buzzballz Buzzballz 279 196 189 216 14.3% Source: The Beverage Information & Insights Group (p) Preliminary. 2018 Growth Brands Spirits 2018 Growth Brands Spirits Q&A Tito's Growth Streak Continues Established Growth Brand winner Tito's Handmade Vodka increased its sales 38% to nearly 5.8 million cases in 2017—more than double its 2015 sales. Vice president of brand marketing Nicole Portwood offered some insight on its success. CHEERS: What industry trends are most impacting Tito's right now? NICOLE PORTWOOD: Digital has signifi cantly impacted us in the past year. When Tito started the distillery, it was a person-to-person, word-of-mouth brand. Now we have a direct line to our customers 24 hours a day. It's allowed us to connect with fans all over the world, and we think of it as word-of-mouth on a much larger scale. E-commerce has also changed both our industry and the overall spirits market. We partner with Drizly, which brings us closer to the consumer point of purchase than ever before and allows us unprecedented access to purchasing data. CHEERS: What on- and off-premise promotions and activations in 2017 led to your success? NP: We're one of those odd brands that did it backwards— starting as an off-premise brand and building a very strong business there. We began showing up in on-premise because of a belief in our product by some amazing bartenders, and requests from our loyal fans. We've certainly put resources behind growing the on- premise, especially in the past few years. Our off-premise plans mirror our overall marketing strategy—connecting with fans and giving back to communities. Streak Continues

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