News & Politics
Shanken's Impact Newsletter

Shanken's Impact Newsletter February 1-15, 2020

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

11 min.
vodka inches ahead in the u.s. despite competitive conditions

DESPITE MOUNTING PRESSURE FROM other spirits and novel categories like canned cocktails and hard seltzer, the U.S. vodka category posted 1% volume growth last year, according to Impact Databank. Among the top 25 vodka brands, newer entrants and domestic labels like Tito’s and Deep Eddy are driving growth, while imports and legacy brands languish or decline outright. Brands outside the top 25 were down by 1.2%, improving their trend slightly from the previous year. The top 25 brands depleted some 62.5 million cases in 2019, accounting for nearly 80% of volume, while the remainder of the field combined for an additional 15.9 million cases. Total vodka depletions reached 78.4 million cases in the U.S. last year as the category maintained its position as the most consumed spirit on the market by…

8 min.
mexico’s “other” spirit begins to emerge

MEZCAL’S PRESENCE IN THE U.S. IS RAPIDLY EXPANDING FROM ITS SMALL BASE AS CONsumers increasingly embrace agave spirits, whether they’re Tequilas made with Blue Weber agaves or mezcals distilled from farmed Espadín and wild harvested agaves. Though mezcal remains a blip on the radar compared to Tequila, it has a passionate following among bartenders and tastemakers, who are elevating its profile with a new generation of drinkers eager to expand their palates and learn the stories behind their favored spirits. Last year the overall mezcal category reached 295,000 cases in the U.S., up 19% on a gain of 38,000 cases, according to Impact Databank. While mezcal as a whole is smaller than many individual Tequila brands in the U.S., the category has emerged as a dynamic area in a very short…

1 min.
vodka shows resilience

WHILE MUCH OF THE EXCITEMENT IN THE SPIRITS market remains centered on fast-growing areas like whisk(e)y and Tequila, vodka continues to be the industry’s workhorse. According to Impact Databank, the U.S. vodka market added approximately 800,000 cases to its total in 2019, advancing by 1% and inching past the 78-million-case mark. While the ascendant Tito’s label is responsible for much of the category’s growth—and, indeed, continues to surge—it’s not the only vodka brand on the rise in the U.S. Leading brands including Svedka (+3%), Ketel One (+3.8%), Stolichnaya (+2.9%), Platinum 7X (+11.5%), and Deep Eddy (+10%) all posted solid growth in 2019, reflecting a diverse mix of imported and domestic brands and price points. And while heavy hitters like Smirnoff and Absolut are looking for a turnaround, their marketers are hard at work…

2 min.
diageo makes u.s. gains, warily eyes trade situation

DYNAMIC GROWTH IN THE TEQUILA AND WHISK(E)Y CATegories drove strong sales gains for Diageo in its fiscal first half through December, as the company’s North America unit posted revenues up 6% on an organic basis to £2.5 billion ($3.3b), and operating profit up 5% to £1.1 billion ($1.4b). Diageo’s core U.S. spirits business also rose 6%, broadly in line with depletions. In the U.S., the Don Julio and Casamigos Tequila brands have been propelling progress, combining for 35% growth in the first half. Crown Royal is also powering ahead, with net sales up 11% during the period due to ongoing growth for its Regal Apple offering as well as its limited-edition Peach extension. Diageo says it’s continuing to back Crown Royal with a robust marketing agenda after upweighting its spend last…

1 min.
moët hennessy’s full-year sales rise 6%, topping $6b

MOËT HENNESSY POSTED FULL-YEAR NET REVENUES UP 6% to €5.6 billion ($6.2b) in 2019, with profit from recurring operations also up 6%, to €1.7 billion ($1.9b), driven by premiumization in its Champagne unit and ongoing progress for Hennessy Cognac. The company said it saw “solid growth” for Hennessy in the U.S., propelling its Cognac & Spirits division to a global increase of 7% to €3.1 billion ($3.4b), up from €2.8 billion ($3.1b) a year earlier. Single malt Scotch labels Glenmorangie and Ardbeg also contributed to those gains, with the Cognac & Spirits unit delivering profit up 6% to €1 billion ($1.1b) overall. According to Impact Databank, Hennessy increased an estimated 6% to 3.9 million cases in the U.S. last year, while advancing by 5.5% globally, to 8.2 million cases. Meanwhile,…

1 min.
beam, sgws align in 43 u.s. markets

BEAM SUNTORY HAS OPTED TO CONsolidate its U.S. distribution with Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits across 43 markets. Taking effect April 1, the deal will see Beam Suntory transition to Southern Glazer’s from Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC) across nine new markets: Colorado, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Indiana, Maryland, Washington D.C., Oklahoma, and Michigan. Southern Glazer’s and Beam Suntory are already linked across 34 U.S. markets, and with the new accord their alliance is now cemented through 2030. In a statement to Impact, Beam Suntory said the move will “streamline our route-to-market in the U.S. and support our premiumization agenda. We’re confident it will support our strategic focus on bringing our local teams closer to consumers and customers and ensuring we win across channels.” “Utilizing our nationwide network and resources will significantly…