Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

Exclusive: Industry Stars Highlight Impact’s “Blue Chip Brands”

October 2, 2015

Impact has released its annual list of “Blue Chip Brands.” This year’s group includes 58 brands from the spirits, wine and beer categories.

Three of the market’s five biggest spirits brands (Smirnoff, Captain Morgan and Crown Royal) earned Blue Chip status. Three top-five wine brands (Barefoot, Sutter Home and Woodbridge) as well as two leading wine imports (Yellow Tail and Cavit) also made the list.

To qualify as Blue Chip Brands, winners must record at least 10 straight years of volume increases or have an average annual compound growth rate of at least 2% for spirits, 2.5% for wine and 0.5% for beer from 2004-2014 while recording increases in at least eight of those 10 years. The brands also must have gross profit margins of at least $25 million. Minimum volume requirements are 500,000 cases for spirits and wine, and 5 million (2.25-gallon) cases for beer.

Unlike spirits and wine, the leading beer brands didn’t make a strong showing—which isn’t surprising, given the mainstream segment’s struggles. But Coors Light, the market’s number-two beer brand, won Blue Chip recognition, as did portfoliomate Coors Original.

Beer’s craft and import segments are well-represented on the list, accounting for more than half of beer’s 13 Blue Chip winners. The beer roster is led by Modelo Especial, which has also been a fixture on Impact’s “Hot Brands” list, where it has made 21 consecutive appearances.

All of the Blue Chip Brands are revealed in Impact’s October 15 issue.


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