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Riding The Dessert Trend, Pinnacle Whipped Projects 750,000 Cases For 2011

June 29, 2011

Launched little more than a year ago, Pinnacle Whipped vodka ($14 a 750-ml.) has shipped 400,000 cases so far in 2011, and brand-owner White Rock Distilleries is projecting its full-year volume at 750,000 cases. That would make the whipped cream-flavored vodka the largest flavored line extension in the U.S. spirits market, leapfrogging players like Absolut Citron ($21) and Smirnoff Raspberry ($14).

Pinnacle is a French vodka positioned well down the pricing scale from Cîroc ($32) and Grey Goose ($30). The brand has 26 flavor extensions that comprise 75% of its total sales. Whipped has become the standout in the Pinnacle line and has spawned three similar extensions—Whipped Chocolate, Whipped Orange and Whipped Cherry. “This has opened the door for us,” said White Rock marketing director Marguerite Allolding. Last year Pinnacle reached 1.4 million cases, earning Impact “Hot Brand” status. White Rock projects the total brand to rise by 1 million cases to 2.4 million cases in 2011. That would likely propel it past Ketel One ($24) and Stolichnaya ($20) to become the market’s fourth-biggest imported vodka by volume—behind Absolut ($21), Grey Goose ($30) and Svedka ($14).

“A year ago, Whipped was 90% retail, but it’s become a phenomenon on-premise, partly because bartenders like its versatility,” says Allolding, adding that the on-premise now comprises roughly 35% of Whipped’s total sales. Performing notably well in Florida (its largest market), as well as Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama and Washington, Whipped has established its footing with 21- to 25-year-old consumers—primarily females (65%-70% of sales).

“We look to non-spirits categories for trends, and right now it’s in desserts,” says Allolding, adding that competition within the dessert-flavored vodka sector has intensified. Although White Rock isn’t currently planning any new Whipped extensions, it will continue to tap the dessert trend and, following its recent launch of Pinnacle Cake, will launch several new flavors this year.

White Rock Distilleries – Leading Brands
(thousands of nine-liter case depletions)
Percent Change
Brand 2008 2009 2010 2008-2009 2009-2010
Pinnacle Vodka 608 1,017 1,400 67.3% 37.7%
Jack Flavored Rums1 127 205 230 61.4% 12.2%
Tortilla Tequila 152 160 165 5.3% 3.1%
Orloff Vodka 121 135 135 11.6% 0.0%
Calico Jack Rum 75 86 94 14.7% 9.3%
Ryan’s Original Cream 78 90 93 15.4% 3.3%
Raynal Brandy2 102 85 85 -16.7% 0.0%
Total Leading Brands 1,263 1,778 2,202 40.8% 23.8%
1 excludes Calico Jack and Spiced Jack 94
2 rights acquired from William Grant on April 1, 2010 


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