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U.S. Spirits Market Sees Slower Growth In 2013, As Vodka Continues To Dominate

The U.S. spirits market eked out modest growth in 2013, but was unable to match its gains of recent years. After advancing by more than 3% in 2011 and 2012, spirits volumes last year grew by just 1.3% to 208.6 million cases, according to Impact Databank.

Growth was even slower among the market’s giants. The top five brands—Smirnoff, Bacardi, Captain Morgan, Jack Daniel’s and Absolut—which collectively comprise about 17% of U.S. spirits market volume, showed an aggregate gain of just 100,000 cases last year, a rise of 0.3%.

Other top sellers fared far better. Impact’s exclusive report on the U.S. market’s top 25 spirits brands reveals that brands ranked sixth through 25th grew by an aggregate 4% in 2013. Three of those brands achieved double-digit growth, all three of them vodkas positioned in the $10-$15 a 750-ml. range—E&J Distillers’ New Amsterdam (+76%), Heaven Hill’s Burnett’s (+15.3%) and Beam Inc.’s Pinnacle (+10%). In fact, each of the 10 vodkas within the top 25 posted growth in 2013.

The vodka category also appeared to perform well beyond the top 25, as brands like Cîroc and Tito’s were among the market’s biggest gainers. Meanwhile, with the burgeoning flavored whisk(e)y category rapidly expanding, it may not be long before some of its leading players make their way into the top 25. Sazerac’s Fireball and Brown-Forman’s Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey are leading the way, with both brands rising sharply last year and poised for considerable growth in 2014.

For the full report and analysis on the U.S. spirits market’s top 25 brands, see the January 1&15 issue of Impact Newsletter.

Source: Shaken News Daily