Pernod Ricard Sees Buoyant U.S. Spirits Market Ahead Of Holiday PushDecember 6, 2016
After posting a 4% sales increase to $1.8 billion in the U.S. market in its fiscal year ended in June, Pernod Ricard sees that progress continuing. In a presentation to analysts today, Pernod said its portfolio has shown strong growth in Nielsen channels in the 52 weeks to November 6, with Jameson (+21%) leading the way. Also on the rise were The Glenlivet (+7%), Malibu (+1.8%), Altos Tequila (+40%) and Martell Cognac (+18%). Meanwhile, Absolut (-3.8%) continued to struggle, and Avion Tequila was roughly flat.
The U.S. accounts for 19% of the company’s global sales. Pernod cited the market’s overall premiumization progress, with whisk(e)y (+7.5%), Tequila (+10%) and Cognac (+18%) continuing to drive growth in the 52 weeks to November 6. Premium spirits ($17-$25 a 750-ml.), which account for 37% of the U.S. market by value, were up 6%, while super-premium brands ($26-$41) grew by 11% and represented 18% of market value. Ultra-premium spirits ($42-$84) and the prestige segment ($85+), which have smaller shares, rose 13% and 17% respectively.
After a sweeping revamp of its U.S. organization earlier this year that included the reappointment of Paul Duffy as chairman and CEO of North America, Pernod told analysts that its plan remains to drive growth with Jameson and stabilize Absolut. The latter effort has included new packaging, a new “Absolut Nights” campaign, pricing adjustments and the launch of an Absolut Lime flavor. The company also will rationalize Absolut’s flavor lineup with an emphasis on citrus flavors, and premiumize the franchise via its upscale Elyx expression, which has doubled in size over the past year.
Under Duffy’s new leadership, Pernod Ricard USA is doubling down on priority channels like chains and the on-premise and keying on the top markets, with California, New York, Florida and Texas getting increased focus. The company has also launched a dedicated “incubation unit” for innovation called “New Brand Ventures,” led by long-time Pernod executive Jeff Agdern, which has its own autonomous sales and marketing teams and is designed “to scale brands throughout the incubation lifecycle.” —Daniel MarstellerSubscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning.