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Riding Single Malt Boom, Glenfiddich Mounts Innovation Push

October 3, 2016

With single malt far outpacing overall Scotch sales—up 9% in the U.S. last year, compared with a 0.4% decline for the total category, according to Impact Databank—William Grant & Sons’ Glenfiddich has been among the key growth drivers. The U.S. market’s third-largest single malt Scotch after The Glenlivet and The Macallan, Glenfiddich rose 3.7% in 2014 and saw 16.4% growth last year, reaching more than 160,000 cases. This year, the brand is on track for another year of double-digit growth.

Led by its flagship 12-year-old, Glenfiddich’s portfolio also includes a 15-year-old, 18-year-old, 21-year-old and Excellence 26-year-old. Late last year, Glenfiddich added to its core range with Bourbon Barrel Reserve 14-year-old, aged in American oak ex-Bourbon casks. Retailing at $50 a 750-ml., the extension taps into a growing trend toward Bourbon-influenced Scotch whisky innovations in the U.S.

“Innovation is key in the whisk(e)y category, even more so today, as new drinkers who are driving the category’s growth are eager to explore unique and diverse expressions,” says Glenfiddich senior brand manager Michael Giardina.

This year, Glenfiddich has doubled down on new product development, recently unveiling the first two products in the brand’s new Experimental Series. The two new entries include Project XX, which draws from casks selected by 20 Glenfiddich brand ambassadors and blended by malt master Brian Kinsman, and Glenfiddich India Pale Ale Cask Finish, a collaboration with Scotland’s Speyside Craft Brewery. India Pale Ale Cask Finish, which is rolling out this fall at around $70 a bottle, looks to draw aficionados of the popular IPA beer style into the Scotch category. Project XX will officially launch in 2017.  —Christina Jelski

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