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Pernod Ricard Sees U.S. Premiumization Accelerate, With Whisk(e)y Driving Growth

December 11, 2015

In a presentation that focused on its Americas unit, Pernod Ricard said yesterday it’s tracking an acceleration in the U.S. spirits market’s premiumization trend. Consumer trade-up activity led to a 6.8% increase in spirits category value in Nielsen channels in the 12 months through November 7, compared with a 4.5% rise a year ago. Similarly, NABCA saw value growth reach 5.6% for the 12 months through October, compared with a 4.2% bump a year earlier. Volume expansion has also picked up, roughly doubling to about 3% in both Nielsen and NABCA channels, Pernod said.

Within that landscape, Pernod Ricard’s Jameson and The Glenlivet whiskies have been leading the group’s U.S. business. (Whiskies now comprise a quarter of the U.S. spirits market by volume and around a third of its value, Nielsen says.)

Absolut vodka’s struggles have continued, with its core Blue (-1.2%) and flavored offshoots (-7%) both still in decline. Pernod says it will employ a three-pronged strategy for Absolut, including reinforcing the brand’s quality credentials, keying in on nightlife and other “high-energy” occasions and premiumizing through luxury-level Absolut Elyx.

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