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Gallo’s Mix Of Spirits Brands Creates Dynamic Growth Trends

November 16, 2011

Known primarily for its status as the world’s top wine marketer by volume, E&J Gallo is also one of the leading U.S. spirits marketers. Led by its E&J brandy, one of the market’s top 10 spirits with annual depletions of nearly 4 million cases, Gallo sells more than 5.5 million cases of spirits a year. While its flagship brandy has long anchored Gallo’s spirits business, the company has had impressive success in the gin category of late with its upstart New Amsterdam Gin. Priced at around $14 per 750-ml., the domestically-produced gin has quickly gained traction in the U.S., earning a spot as the only gin brand on Impact’s “Hot Brands” roster in both of the past two years. New Amsterdam Gin advanced 10% by volume last year to 580,000 cases, according to Impact Databank, and has attracted a wide range of consumers—and particularly the millennial demographic—as “a premium, fairly priced, modern alternative to traditional brands,” says Gerard Thoukis, New Amsterdam Spirits Co. director of spirits.

Gallo is now hoping to duplicate that success with the recent launch of New Amsterdam Vodka, which Thoukis believes will prove to be a hit, despite a multitude of competitors within the notoriously crowded vodka category. Emulating its sister brand’s New York City-inspired packaging and accessible price positioning, the new 80-proof vodka retails for $14.99 a 750-ml., and will aim to take share from the many affordably priced, premium vodkas that have proliferated in the U.S. in recent years. According to Thoukis, New Amsterdam will continue to focus on the off-premise, generating consumer trial and growing brand awareness nationwide. “New Amsterdam Gin will grow faster than the overall gin category in 2011,” he projects. “As for New Amsterdam Vodka, early consumer acceptance and enthusiasm suggests it will be very successful.”

In addition to New Amsterdam, Gallo has invested substantially in its Familia Camarena Tequila brand, launched in the U.S. last year under the company’s Alto Spirits Co. subsidiary. Featuring both a Silver and Reposado priced at around $20 a 750-ml., Camarena has demonstrated similar potential to New Amsterdam, reaching 150,000 cases in 2010, its first year on the market, and gaining an Impact “Hot Prospect” title. As 2011 comes to a close, Camarena appears to have had a solid second year. The Tequila brand’s marketing has centered heavily on sports sponsorships, including tie-ups with six Major League Baseball clubs, two National Basketball Association teams and four National Football League (NFL) teams this year. Similarly, New Amsterdam Spirits recently renewed its sponsorship deal with the NFL’s Oakland Raiders, alongside five additional NFL agreements.


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