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Amid Whisk(e)y’s Surge, Vodka Shows Strength, Placing 10 Brands On Impact’s Top 25 List

January 22, 2016

While whisk(e)y’s surge has reshaped the U.S. spirits market, Impact Databank’s exclusive ranking of the U.S. market’s top 25 spirits brands shows that vodka remains a force. In all, 10 vodka brands earned spots among the top 25—including longtime market leader Smirnoff, which continues to inch toward the 10-million-case threshold.

Vodka’s flavor boom has cooled considerably over the past few years, yet the category’s expansion continues. Seven of the 10 vodka entries on the top 25 list achieved growth in 2015, according to Impact Databank estimates. Along with Smirnoff, these include Svedka, New Amsterdam, Skyy, Burnett’s, Tito’s and Ketel One.

Admittedly, progress has been modest for many of these brands of late. However, the gains posted by New Amsterdam and Tito’s are the envy of the industry. New Amsterdam has jumped into the ranks of the U.S. market’s top 10 spirits brands by leapfrogging E.&J. Distillers stablemate E.&J. Brandy on the strength of its remarkable upswing.

Three years ago, New Amsterdam gave new meaning to the term “promising start” by soaring past the million-case threshold in its first full year on the market. Incredibly, since then, the brand has averaged annual growth of nearly 1 million cases. With an estimated 25% jump in 2015, New Amsterdam enters 2016 well on its way to 4-million-case territory, and could well finish the year as the market’s number-two vodka—a spot currently held by Svedka, which itself eclipsed the struggling Absolut only recently.

As impressive as New Amsterdam’s performance has been, when it comes to high-flying spirits brands, Tito’s is hard to beat. Despite a series of lawsuits targeting its “Handmade” claim, Tito’s continues to reach new heights. The brand, marketed by Fifth Generation Inc., has followed its 50% rise in 2014 with a 40% bounce in 2015, according to Impact Databank estimates. If current trends continue, Tito’s should also soon join New Amsterdam as a top 10 spirits brand.

For more on Impact Databank’s exclusive ranking of the top 25 spirits brands, don’t miss the January 1&15, 2016 edition of Impact.

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