News & Politics
Shanken's Impact Newsletter

Shanken's Impact Newsletter November 1, 2019

Shanken’s Impact Newsletter, the leading source for exclusive data on the alcoholic beverage industry in the United States and internationally. Every issue features up-to-the-minute data and analysis on trends in the worldwide drinks market.

United States
M Shanken Communications
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in this issue

14 min.
jameson blazes the trail for an expanding field of players

IRISH WHISKEY CONTINUES TO SURGE IN the U.S. market, posting double-digit growth to eclipse the 4-million-case mark last year. The U.S. is the world’s largest market for Irish whiskey, accounting for 41% of the category’s volume, and is driving a global boom that’s now spreading to other markets. Though newer brands—including Teeling, Slane, and Roe & Co.—have entered the category in recent years alongside such stalwarts as Tullamore Dew and Bushmills, Irish whiskey’s success re-mains first and foremost the story of Pernod Ricard-owned Jameson. Irish whiskey stood at 1 million cases in the U.S. in 2008, and has quadrupled in size since then. The category is popular in the shot occasion, in cocktails, and, increasingly, in connoisseur-focused sipping occasions as brands show off their higher-end marques. “As consumer drinking habits evolve…

9 min.
cognac extends its gains in the u.s.

THOUGH COGNAC’S GLOBAL GROWTH FIGURES FOR 2018 MAY NOT HAVE BEEN AS IMpressive as in prior years, records were still shattered, with global volume rising by 5% to 16.18 million cases, according to Impact Databank. The gains are being driven by three factors: ongoing interest in brown spirits, the cocktail culture, and innovation across the category as producers introduce new barrel-finishes and high-end marques. Even amid such strong category growth, producers are getting a handle on supply, keeping volume steady and maintaining progress. In previous years, shortages became a concern, particularly for category leader Hennessy, which has since poured greater investment into expanding capacity. Now, the majority of brands seem primed for continued growth. In the United States—Cognac’s largest market—volume grew by 6.5% last year to 6.1 million cases, according to…

1 min.
runway for growth

IN THIS ISSUE, WE TAKE AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT TWO of the most successful spirits categories in the U.S. market over the past decade: Irish whiskey and Cognac. Both categories have been boosted by the twin trends of premiumization and brown spirits exploration on the part of younger consumers, and neither appears to be headed for a slowdown anytime soon. If anything, Cognac’s growth could be even faster if not for distillers running up against supply constraints lately. While those issues are being addressed, progress continues at the consumer level, with U.S. volume crossing the 6-million-case milestone last year, according to Impact Databank. In addition to market leaders Hennessy and Rémy Martin, brands like d’Ussé and Martell are increasingly becoming players in the category. The depth of Irish whiskey’s ranks is also expanding.…

1 min.
tim ford to succeed clarke as ceo at treasury

TREASURY WINE ESTATES CEO Michael Clarke has announced that he will retire during the company’s fiscal first quarter of 2021, which ends next September. Clarke, who intends to return to the U.K. to spend more time with his family, will be replaced by Tim Ford, currently Treasury’s COO. Clarke has agreed to act in the capacity of advisor to the company for up to an additional one-year period, “to provide strategic support across key initiatives including potential merger and acquisition opportunities,” Treasury said. Ford, who joined Treasury in 2011, will step into the CEO role upon Clarke’s retirement. Ford has been COO since January, and prior to that was deputy COO and ran Treasury’s Asia, Europe, and Australia/New Zealand region. Treasury chairman Paul Rayner credited Clarke with driving “extraordinary transformation and outstanding financial…

1 min.
importers brace for tariff trouble

LAST MONTH, THE U.S. IMPOSED 25% TARIFFS ON MANY WINES FROM FRANCE, Spain, Germany, and the U.K., as well as dozens of other European products, from Scotch and Irish single malt whiskies, to Italian cheeses and olive oil, to Greek yo-gurt. The tariffs went into effect just after midnight October 18, after talks between European officials and U.S. trade representatives failed. The trade dispute between the U.S. and E.U. stems from a long-running battle over aircraft subsidies. Wineries and importers say the tariffs are so large that they will have no choice but to pass along at least some of the cost to American consumers, though they may cut profit margins to try to minimize the price increases. They expect to lose sales and suffer financially until the trade dispute…

1 min.
deutsch, gray whalegin team up in u.s.

DEUTSCH FAMILY WINE & SPIRITS has formed a 50-50 joint venture partnership with Jan and Marsh Mokhtari, founders of the high-end Gray Whale gin label. Terms weren’t disclosed. Gray Whale, bottled at 43% abv and retailing at $40, is currently present in the California and Connecticut markets. Deutsch plans to launch it nationally in three waves, with about 17 markets expected to come on stream in the next 12 months. While production is currently tiny at 2,000 cases, Deutsch says it intends to scale the brand through its national network, noting that the over-$30 gin segment has been increasing by double-digits lately. “Building a scaled spirits portfolio of craft and super-premium brands is a high strategic imperative for us,” says Deutsch Family president Tom Steffanci.…