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Shanken's Impact Newsletter

Shanken's Impact Newsletter March 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.

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United States
M Shanken Communications

in this issue

25 min
whiskies, tequilas, california wines lead impact’s hot brands

AMID AN ERA RIFE WITH FLUCTUATING consumer trends, rampant innovation, and shifting dynamics within the market’s major beverage alcohol categories, key industry players continue to carve out growth with a variety of strong brands. This year, a total of 70 franchises from across the spirits and wine categories earned Impact “Hot Brand” awards, matching the number of winners from the previous year. In spirits, whiskies from a variety of origins are propelling gains, as are premium-and-above Tequilas. Some 12 whiskies and eight Tequilas were named Hot Brands based on their 2019 performances, comprising a majority of the total spirits list. In wine, California’s dominance continues, as consumers remain drawn to premium-and-over red blends, and the trend toward alternative packaging types grows stronger, diversifying wine’s consumption occasions and offering the potential to broaden…

17 min
the top 100 spirits brands worldwide

WHILE CHALLENGES HAVE BEEN HEIGHTENING FOR GLOBAL SPIRITS MARKETERS LATELY, the industry’s leading labels overcame headwinds to post another year of progress in 2019. Against a backdrop of international trade tensions—including tariff wars between the U.S. and major trading partners like Europe and China—the top 100 premium spirits brands worldwide combined for 2.5% growth to 395.1 million cases in 2019, according to Impact Databank. Within that performance, growth was led by an array of whisk(e)y brands from around the world, including offerings from categories like Bourbon (+4.1%), Canadian (+5.7%), Japanese (+6.5%), and Irish (+7.4%). Among other key global categories, vodkas within the top 100 spirits brands by volume rose by a collective 1.5%, gin grew by a buoyant 5.7%, Cognac advanced by 2.5%, and rum and Tequila moved forward at rates…

1 min
onward and upward

ONE THING IS FOR CERTAIN: THESE ARE INTERESTING times in the drinks business. While the industry is facing a diverse set of challenges from tariffs to changing consumer tastes to over-supply in the California wine segment, suppliers with the right mix of innovation and marketing acumen continue to garner impressive growth for their portfolios. For evidence, look no further than our annual list of Impact “Hot Brands,” saluting the fastest-growing labels in the wine and spirits market. While there’s been plenty of turnover from last year—particularly on the spirits and domestic wine rosters—the vibrancy of the whisk(e)y and Tequila categories in spirits and California brands and Italian labels in wine has remained constant for several years. Overall, a total of 70 brands earned Hot Brand awards for their 2019 performances. Some…

2 min
bourbon drives growth for beam

BEAM SUNTORY SAW SOLID SALES growth in 2019, posting a revenue increase of 6.5% for the year. Parent company Suntory Holdings saw its total beverage alcohol sales—also including beer and wine interests—increase 2.9% to ¥796 billion ($7.3b) last year. Beam Suntory’s flagship Jim Beam brand had a strong year in the U.S., with consumers trading up to higher-priced extension Jim Beam Black. “Jim Beam Black is growing really strongly, at very healthy double-digits,” Beam Suntory CEO Albert Baladi tells Impact. “Millennials in particular are starting to pay a bit more for Bourbon and engaging in the category. We’re seeing a lot of brands at the $40-$50- and-up price points popping up on shelves and taking more space in retail accounts.” Globally, Baladi said that the company “benefited from premiumization across brands and…

1 min
lvmh reportedly eyes castello banfi

A REPORT OUT OF ITALY CLAIMS MOËT HENNESSY MAY BE INTERESTED IN ACquiring Montalcino-based Castello Banfi from the Mariani family in whole or in part. According to Italian website Wine News, the French luxury giant has held preliminary talks with the Brunello producer toward a potential investment. Banfi declined to comment on the report. Moët Hennessy did not return a request for comment. Considered one of the leading lights of the Montalcino region, Castello Banfi was established by brothers John and Harry Mariani in 1977. Over the years the winery was instrumental in the development of Brunello as one of Italy’s most sought-after wines. In 2018, the latest year for which figures are available, the Banfi brand and associated Italian labels had U.S. volume of approximately 275,000 cases, with the core…

1 min
scotch exports keep rising despite tariffs

SCOTCH WHISKY CONTINUED TO churn out global growth last year, ac-cording to new export figures from the Scotch Whisky Association. Total ex-ports increased 4.4% to £4.9 billion ($6.4b) on a volume boost of 2.4%. The U.S. remains the Scotch category’s most valuable market, up 2.8% to £1.07 billion ($1.39b) last year, even as volume slipped 7%. Those results were dampened by a fourth-quarter dropoff in which U.S. exports fell 25%, following the imposition of 25% tariffs on single malts in October. “The tariffs are hitting producers hard, particularly small distillers,” said Scotch Whisky Association CEO Karen Betts. Among Scotch’s other key export markets, Taiwan (+22%), Germany (+5.6%), Spain (+4.8%), India (+19.7%), and Japan (+16.1%) all showed value growth last year, while France (-2.4%), Singapore (-6.3%), and Mexico (-8.1%) all declined.…