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Pernod Ricard Posts 4% Rise In U.S. Sales, Led By Irish Whiskey, Tequila And New Releases

August 29, 2018

Pernod Ricard showed a 4% organic sales increase in the U.S. market in its fiscal year ended in June, with Irish whiskey, Tequila, and innovation driving growth. Globally, the company reported a 6% growth in organic sales—up from 3.6% in FY17—which Pernod attributes to an improved price/mix and strong growth in key regions like India, China, and the U.S.

The company’s growth in the U.S. was driven by Jameson (+15% in Nielsen channels in year to August 11 and +14% in NABCA in the year up to June), which has reached nearly 3.5 million cases in the U.S. The brand has also found success with its Caskmates offshoot, which is now the second-largest Irish whiskey label in the U.S. in Nielsen channels and is likely to cross 200,000 cases this calendar year. Pernod reported an 87% jump for Caskmates in the U.S. last year.

Martell was up 55% in Nielsen channels, with the launches of Martell Blue Swift and Martell VS Single Distillery, alongside price increases, helping to propel the brand. Malibu continues to outperform its category, posting a 4% bump in NABCA while remaining stable in Nielsen. Pernod’s Altos Tequila brand shot up across the board, growing 24% in Nielsen and 37% in NABCA. The company said Tequila and Mezcal are both showing strong dynamism. The Glenlivet made a solid showing in the single malt category, growing by 3% in Nielsen channels.

Despite the successful launch of Absolut Lime (173,000 cases, according to Impact Databank), the overall Absolut brand continues to struggle in the U.S., dropping 5% in Nielsen and 3% in NABCA channels. The company noted that despite vodka’s difficulties in the U.S., it’s strengthening its position in citrus-flavored vodka—with Lime now the No.-2 Absolut flavor in Nielsen channels.

Pernod Ricard added that its growth has broadly lined up with the rest of the global market and has rebounded from last year’s lull despite the challenging conditions for Absolut. Going forward, the company is looking to global organic profit growth 5%-7%, as pricing improves.—Shane English

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