Top Spirits Brands Struggle To Make Gains In Control StatesMay 27, 2011
The U.S. market’s best-selling spirits brands are still having a tough time carving out significant growth in control state markets. For the first four months of 2011, the top 10 brands in control states advanced by only 0.4% to 13.3 million cases, according to control state trade group NABCA. The picture was slightly more encouraging outside the top 10, as overall NABCA spirits sales grew by 2.5% for the year through April.
Burnett’s vodka was by far the best performer among the top 10 brands in control states, with its broad array of flavors propelling it to 6% growth, making it the only top 10 entry to increase by more than 3% in the first four months of 2011. Burnett’s, owned by Heaven Hill Distilleries, is much more reliant on control state business than most of the top sellers. While it was ranked 23rd in the overall U.S. spirits market in 2010, with around 1.7 million cases in depletions, the competitively-priced vodka brand was ranked seventh in control state sales last year. Control states account for roughly half of its volume.
Still, Burnett’s was far from the only brand benefiting from the ongoing flavor craze. The four top sellers—Smirnoff (+0.2%), Bacardi (-0.8%), Captain Morgan (-1.8%) and Absolut (+2.2%)-all derived higher growth rates from their flavored ranges than the core products. Control states account for around 25% of U.S. spirits market consumption.Subscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning.