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Shanken's Impact Newsletter

Shanken's Impact Newsletter November 15, 2019

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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.

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United States
M Shanken Communications

in this issue

10 min.
super-premium gin seizes the stage in the u.s. on-premise

GIN REMAINS SPLIT ALONG PRICE LINES, as most super-premium-and-above brands maintain steady growth while lower-priced labels continue to slide. Though it has only recently shown signs of a comeback in the U.S., gin’s popularity in European countries—particularly its recent surge in the U.K.—has marketers hoping those favorable trends carry over to the U.S. market in the coming years. The total gin category in the U.S. declined 1.3% to 9.22 million cases last year, according to IMPACT DATABANK, but the outlook is brighter at the high end, where the leading super-premium brands grew 4.6% to 3.1 million cases, increasing super-premium’s share by 0.9%, up to 33.3% of the total category. All of the leading super-premium players saw positive growth in the U.S. last year. The top three super-premium brands—Tanqueray, Bombay Sapphire, and Hendrick’s—account…

5 min.
sonoma vintners regain their footing

FIRE ENGINES STREAMED OUT OF SONOMA COUNTY WINE COUNTRY WEDNESDAY, November 6, returning to their home bases across California and throughout the West as the once-ferocious Kincade fire was contained. It had consumed almost 78,000 acres since igniting Oct. 23 in the mountainous terrain above the vineyards of northern Sonoma’s Alexander Valley. The damage, though significant, represents just a fraction of the devastation wrought by Northern California’s 2017 wine country fires. At its height, on the weekend of Oct. 26, more than 190,000 of Sonoma County’s residents were evacuated as the fast-growing fire threatened the cities of Healdsburg and Windsor. But a strike force assembled by the state’s fire control agency, Cal Fire, that eventually numbered up to 5,000 personnel, made a successful stand in defending the two cities—and succeeded in…

1 min.
gin’s upscale appeal

FROM AN OVERALL VOLUME PERSPECTIVE, GIN HAS been in decline in the U.S. for more than a decade, surrendering more than 1.6 million cases over the past 10 years. But that fact obscures the gains being made at the upper end of the pricing spectrum. Essentially all of the leading gin brands priced above $20 a 750-ml. in the U.S. were on the rise last year, and Impact Databank projects the total super-premium gin segment to reach 3.25 million cases in 2019 to take more than a one-third share of the total category. At gin’s high end, Tanqueray, Bombay Sapphire, and Hendrick’s stand significantly above the competition, accounting for nearly 90% of U.S. gin volume above $20 a bottle. Yet the category is building impressive depth, with an influx of ambitious contenders eager…

2 min.
pernod taps ann mukherjee as north america ceo

PAUL DUFFY WILL STEP DOWN AS CHAIRMAN AND CEO OF Pernod Ricard North America effective December 2, and will be replaced by consumer goods veteran Ann Mukherjee. Duffy spent a total of seven and a half years as head of Pernod’s U.S. unit, including a stint from 2008-2012 in addition to his more recent tenure, which began in 2016. Under Duffy’s leadership, Pernod saw its Jameson Irish whiskey become one of the U.S. market’s hottest spirits brands, expanding from just 690,000 cases in 2008 to nearly 3.5 million cases in 2018, according to Impact Databank. It also boosted its presence in American whiskey with a series of recent acquisitions—including Rabbit Hole, Jefferson’s, Smooth Ambler, and others—while developing growing brands in other categories, including The Glenlivet single malt Scotch, Altos Tequila, and…

1 min.
bob dylan’s whiskey adds “bootleg series”

HEAVEN’S DOOR SPIRITS, THE COL-laboration between Bob Dylan and Spirits Investment Partners, has launched the first expression in its limited edition Bootleg Series. Volume 1 of the Bootleg Series is a 26-year-old, 111.5 proof Canadian whisky aged in ex-Bourbon barrels and finished in Japanese Mizunara oak barrels. It’s packaged in handmade ceramic bottles that feature an image of the Dylan painting “Train Tracks,” and the bottle comes enclosed in an individually numbered leather journal. The limited edition is launching in a supply of fewer than 3,000 bottles, retailing at $500 apiece.…

1 min.
single malts grapple with u.s. tariffs

LEADING SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKIES ARE WRESTLING WITH HOW TO AD-dress the 25% tariffs the U.S. began imposing on October 18. The tariffs, which stem from a 15-year international fight over the airplane industry, target around $7.5 billion of European goods—including single malt Scotch and single malt whiskies from Northern Ireland. “This is a really serious situation for the industry,” says Scotch Whisky Association strategy and communications director Graeme Littlejohn. “And particularly for our small and mid-size member companies, who predominantly deal in single malt.” Littlejohn notes that after the E.U. imposed a 25% retaliatory tariff on American whiskey in 2018 in response to U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs, exports to the E.U. dropped by 21%. “We would expect a similar, if not larger, market loss from the U.S. tariffs—something…