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Special Report: U.S. Spirits Market Up By 1.5% In 2014, As Fireball Rises High

January 14, 2015

The U.S. spirits market expanded once again in 2014, but while marked progress was common among the top sellers just a few years ago, more recent growth has been dominated by just a few brands—none of which are among the market’s most established names. For the second consecutive year, the spirits market advanced by 1.5%, according to Impact Databank, reaching 212.5 million cases in 2014. Meanwhile, the top 25 brands—which account for more than 40% of total volume—rose by nearly 3% in aggregate.

This expansion occurred despite the fact that the five biggest brands collectively lost ground. These brands—Smirnoff, Bacardi, Captain Morgan, Jack Daniel’s and Absolut—declined by a combined 1%. Of those five, which collectively comprise roughly 16% of U.S. spirits consumption, only Captain Morgan grew by more than 1%—and that was just barely, as the rum brand inched up by 1.2% to 6.4 million cases.

However, the impressive performance of a few brands boosted both the top 25 and the overall market. These include Fireball liqueur (+65.5% to nearly 4 million cases), New Amsterdam vodka (+24.7% to 2.5 million cases) and Tito’s, which has yet to join the ranks of the top 25 but now stands on the precipice of this select group after it expanded by more than 50% in 2014.

Several other brands also enjoyed solid progress, including Hennessy Cognac (+7.5%); Jameson Irish whiskey (+11.5%) and Cîroc vodka (+9%).

The full report on the U.S. spirits market’s top 25 brands appears in the January 1&15, 2015 edition of Impact.

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