News & Politics
Shanken's Impact Newsletter

Shanken's Impact Newsletter November 1, 2017

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.
high-flying jameson propels irish whiskey to new heights

WHILE BROWN SPIRITS OF ALL KINDS have been making solid gains lately, it’s arguable that Irish whiskey’s performance has been the most dynamic of all, with the category advancing by double-digits both in the U.S.—its top market with a 41% share—and internationally. Globally, Irish whiskey exports rose 18.5% to €256 mil-lion ($302m) for the first six months of 2017, according to the Irish Whiskey Association, with the U.S. up by 22%. Further, the number of Irish whiskey dis-tilleries has increased dramatically in the last decade, from only three in 2006 to a total of 18 operating today—and invest-ment in at least 12 more facilities is in the works. By volume, the category grew 13.5% in 2016 to 8.49 million cases, according to Impact Databank. In the U.S., volume rose 15.3%…

5 min.
napa, sonoma vintners take stock

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA’S HARVEST WAS ALREADY WINDING DOWN WHEN THE WILD-fires tore through parts of Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino Counties, forcing winemakers and residents to flee. At press time, with the fires largely contained, winemakers were fac-ing challenges as they tried to finish what had once looked to be a relatively easy harvest. By the time the fires arrived, vintners had harvested the majority of their grapes. Karissa Kruse, president of the Sonoma County Winegrowers, estimated that 90% of the region’s winegrapes had been picked. The Napa Valley Vintners reported the same figure, while the Mendocino Winegrowers estimated that most of the white grapes and 75% of the region’s red grapes were in. “The overview is fortunately that this fire burned late [in the grapegrowing season],” said Barbara Banke, head of Jackson Family…

1 min.
the future is now

WHILE NEARLY ALL BROWN SPIRITS CATEGORIES ARE in growth mode these days, Irish whiskey stands out. Driven by market leader Jameson, the category has roughly doubled in size in the U.S. since 2011, and could approach the 4-million-case mark this year. Jameson continues to stand head and shoulders above the crowd, accounting for about 80% of total Irish whiskey sales in the U.S., but the Pernod Ricard dynamo is far from the only brand making gains in the category. William Grant & Sons’ Tullamore Dew and Proximo Spirits’ Bushmills—ranked second and third in the U.S., respectively—were also up by double-digits last year, and behind them a host of ambitious players are angling for a big-ger piece of the overall pie. Major marketers like Diageo, Bacardi and Brown-Forman are all making waves in…

2 min.
bacardi leads puerto rico recovery

WITH PUERTO RICO STILL RECOVER-ing from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria, one of the island’s most prominent businesses—Bacardi—has stepped up to play a major role in the relief efforts. The company an-nounced that it would devote $2 mil-lion to Puerto Rico’s recovery as the U.S. commonwealth digs out from its worst hurricane since 1928. Since Maria slammed into Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm on Septem-ber 21, Bacardi has prioritized its em-ployees’ safety while helping to spear-head the wider relief effort. Ignacio del Valle, Bacardi’s regional president for Latin America & Caribbean, tells Im-pact the company’s entire Puerto Rican team is safe and accounted for. Mean-while, Bacardi’s $2 million donation is being dispersed through relief organi-zations and the government to provide cash and material assistance to groups working on…

1 min.
gallo sees big upside for american brandy

WHILE AMERICAN BRANDY HAS EX-perienced a renaissance over the past few years, E.&J. Gallo believes the re-vival is just getting started. Gallo is al-ready the overwhelming leader in American brandy with its namesake E.&J. label ($12 a 750-ml.), a volume driver that sells 3.9 million cases an-nually, but the company now tells Impact it sees “tremendous potential” to develop a meaningful premium Cal-ifornia brandy category that takes its cues from the craft spirits movement. In August, Gallo acquired high-end brandy distiller Germain-Robin, whose 6,000-case portfolio retails at $48 and up. But the company is also innovating in upscale brandy with its new Argonaut label, which includes a range of offerings at the super-pre-mium and above level. Argonaut is de-buting with four expressions: Specula-tor (86 proof/$38 a bottle); Fat Thumb (86 proof/$50);…

1 min.
sazerac enters india with jdl deal

SAZERAC CO. HAS ACQUIRED AN EQUITY STAKE IN INDIA’S JOHN DISTILLERIES. Sazerac declined to specify the size of the stake, but The Times of India reports that it amounts to a 28% share. Sazerac purchased the equity stake from Gaja Capital, with plans to buy an additional 15% from Gaja within the next two years. John Distilleries’ chairman, Paul John, retains majority control of the company, which has gross revenues of about $430 million. The John Distilleries portfolio is led by its flagship Original Choice Whisky, which the Bangalore, India-based spir-its group reports has sales of more than 11 million cases annually, out of a total portfolio of roughly 13 million cases. In the U.S., the Paul John single malt is the focus. It includes Brilliance ($60), Edited ($65), Select…