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Campari Enjoys Solid U.S. Sales Growth On Wild Turkey’s Rise, Adds Bulldog Gin To Lineup

November 14, 2013

Significant sales growth for the Wild Turkey franchise and the Campari aperitif brand propelled Gruppo Campari to a solid U.S. sales gain in the first nine months of 2013, the company reported earlier today. Campari’s organic sales for the period rose by 3.7% in the U.S., which accounts for slightly more than 20% of the Italian drinks marketer’s total business.

Campari also announced earlier today that it has obtained the distribution rights for Bulldog Gin, a promising player in the high-end gin segment. Additionally, Campari has a call option to acquire Bulldog in 2020.

U.S. sales for the Wild Turkey range rose by 15.4% in the first three quarters of the year, largely on the ongoing expansion of the Bourbon’s American Honey liqueur extension. Amid the storied brand’s success, Campari has ramped up activity on Wild Turkey on several fronts. In recent weeks, the company has extended the line with Wild Turkey Spiced—a flavored offering aimed at moving beyond the Bourbon category to compete against the burgeoning spiced rum segement—and Forgiven, a limited edition blend of small batch Bourbon and high-proof rye whiskey. Campari America also recently launched a comprehensive marketing campaign aimed at Millennial consumers called #Nevertamed, while its parent company completed a new $43 million packaging facility project at its Lawrenceburg, Kentucky-based Wild Turkey distillery in September.

Campari’s name brand is also thriving in the U.S., as its sales rose by 17.8% over the first nine months of the year. The aperitif’s success in 2013 follows its impressive growth in 2012, when its U.S. volume rose by 16% to 66,000 cases, according to Impact Databank.

Campari’s biggest brand in the U.S., Skyy, didn’t fare as well as its portfoliomates during the nine-month period, as its sales in the market were essentially flat. Campari’s U.S. sales were also hampered by a negative foreign exchange effect of 2.8%.

Globally, Campari’s reported net sales for the first three quarters of 2013 rose by 13%, to €1.052 billion ($1.415b). However, the group’s overall organic sales actually dropped by 0.4% during that time, primarily because of its struggles in Italy—its largest market. Campari’s performance in Italy did improve substantially in the third quarter after a difficult first half, as its realignment of shipments to consumption trends led to 24.5% orangic growth for the three-month period. The company’s global sales results were boosted by a positive perimeter effect of 37.8% derived from Lascelles deMercado, the Jamaican drinks marketer Campari acquired in late 2012.

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