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Shanken's Impact Newsletter

Shanken's Impact Newsletter December 1-15, 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

11 min.
top liqueurs, bitters players capitalize on changing tastes

IN THE U.S., THE LIQUEURS MARKET CONtinues to show a mixed performance, with consumer interest focused on new trends while legacy brands struggle to achieve growth. The category is healthier at the high end (over $30 a 750-ml.), where the majority of leading brands are growing. But the mid-priced segment of the market ($20-$30) faces challenging conditions as brands like Jägermeister and RumChata fight an uphill battle to renew their momentum. Across the pricing tiers, consumers are trending toward bitter aperitifs like Campari and Aperol, or spirit-driven liqueurs that can add complexity to cocktails as well as stand on their own, like Grand Marnier and Fernet-Branca. Among bitters, Aperol and Campari are leading the way, as brand owner Campari America continues to promote them in the on-premise market. “Affinity for bitter flavors…

10 min.
whisky drives growth in key market

FOR WELL MORE THAN A DECADE, INDIA’S DRINKS MARKET HAS BEEN A TARGET OF international drinks companies as a developing region with enormous growth potential. Given the country’s expanding middle class and influx of consumers reaching legal drinking age, India continues to attract overseas investment in both wines and spirits. As in China, India’s millennials are showing an increased thirst for international brands and a willingness to pay more for premium-and-above products. However, an economic slowdown has started to dampen the positive growth trends, as India’s GDP growth rate hit a six-year low of 5% in the third quarter. That deceleration comes on the heels of a robust 2018 for the spirits industry, which saw a 7.5% increase for whisky, and a 4.8% growth rate for spirits overall. Marketers and…

1 min.
tapping wine’s luxury end

WHILE MANY IN THE INDUSTRY ARE CONCERNED about the slowing volume growth of the U.S. wine market, the picture is significantly brighter on the value side. According to Impact Databank, consumer wine purchases rose 1.7% in 2018 and are expected to surpass $50 billion for the first time ever by year-end. With wine’s higher price segments outperforming the lower end, it’s little surprise that the market’s top players are aggressively premiumizing their portfolios. While innovation is part of the mix, much of this activity is centered on acquisitions of blue chip luxury wineries by larger companies. In recent weeks, Moët Hennessy made a splash with its purchase of a controlling stake in Provence-based Château d’Esclans, which has been at the forefront of the premium rosé trend in the U.S. market. This year,…

2 min.
u.s. wine market: value outpaces volume growth

FACED WITH FIERCE COMPETITION from whiskies, cocktails, and other alternative drinks such as hard seltzers, the total wine industry in the United States is expected to grind out a tepid 0.3% volume increase this year to 330 million 9-liter cases, according to the latest edition of The U.S. Wine Market: Shanken’s Impact Databank Review & Forecast. While the U.S. has been the world’s largest wine-consuming market since 2013, volume growth has been sluggish in each of the past eight years due to uneven economic conditions. Growth has been more robust on the value side, as consumer wine purchases rose 1.7% in 2018 and are expected to surpass $50 billion for the first time ever by year-end. The wine industry’s total volume and dollar value continue to record all-time highs, but per-capita wine…

2 min.
moët hennessy takes majority stake in château d’esclans

MOËT HENNESSY HAS BOLSTERED ITS PRESENCE IN Provence rosé, agreeing to take a 55% controlling stake in luxury player Château d’Esclans for an undisclosed sum. Château d’Esclans is known for its Whispering Angel brand, which has been a driving force behind the premiumization of the rosé category in the U.S. Moët Hennessy is acquiring 50% of d’Esclans from Singapore-based investment group Alix AM PTE Ltd, and 5% from d’Esclans president Sacha Lichine, who will retain the rest of his shares and continue to oversee the business. Lichine tells Impact that the d’Esclans range—led by Whispering Angel and The Palm by Whispering Angel—will surpass half a million cases in the U.S. this year, with the rest of the world accounting for about 300,000 cases. “We were looking for a strategic alliance to help…

1 min.
kate hudson debuts king st. vodka label

HOLLYWOOD STAR KATE HUDSON has teamed with spirits entrepreneur David Kanbar to create King St., a new corn-based vodka. The brand will be marketed squarely toward women. Kanbar previously co-created Skinny-girl with Bethenny Frankel (which was eventually sold to Beam Suntory), and co-founded Bulldog Gin (now part of Campari). He’s now CEO of Brand House Wines & Spirits, of which King St. will be a part. King St. is named for Hudson’s old block in New York City. “I want to have the cleanest vodka out there,” Hudson told Impact. “It’s seven times distilled and made from non-GMO corn. It’s everything I could think of to want as a consumer.” Hudson describes the brand as modern and accessible, and the floral label is based on her own sketches. The 43% abv…