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On-Premise Push Bearing Fruit For Campari America’s Liqueurs Stable

December 31, 2015

As consumer interest in classic cocktails continues to spread, Campari America’s portfolio of Italian bitters and aperitifs is reaping the benefits. The company’s approach has been to focus on its two key brands—Campari and Aperol—while driving a portfolio agenda across its other liqueur labels with strategies like its “Drink Italian” campaign.

The flagship Campari aperitif brand (25% abv, $27.99 a 750-ml.) has experienced robust expansion in the U.S. over the past five years. In 2014, Campari shot ahead 11.2% to 83,000 cases, and it’s expected to near the 100,000-case mark on continued double-digit growth in 2015, boosted by its annual “Negroni Week” program across the U.S. on-premise, among other initiatives.

While the Negroni cocktail has been key to the Campari brand’s success, the Aperol Spritz—combining Prosecco, Aperol and soda water—has been instrumental in that label’s rise. “About 60% to 70% of the business is in the on-premise for those brands,” says Richard Black, vice president of marketing, white spirits & cordials at Campari America. “We’re engaging in constant dialogue with the bartender community to drive our cocktail and educational strategies because they are the gateway to the consumer for us.” Aperol (11% abv, $23.99), which has been on a steady rise for several years, is projected to crest the 40,000-case mark for 2015, according to Impact Databank.

Campari America’s other key Italian brands include Cynar ($23.99 a 1-liter), Cynar 70 Proof ($34.99 a 1-liter), Averna ($29.99 a 750-ml.), Braulio ($34.99 a 1-liter) and Frangelico ($24.99). The company is underscoring their Italian heritage while aggressively targeting new menu placements. The largest member of that group—hazelnut liqueur Frangelico—is at around 100,000 cases in the U.S., and is being promoted via the Frangelico Frizzante as a simple pre-dinner drink.

“These Italian brands are the pillars of our company globally, specifically in Europe, but we also want to see that happen in the U.S., where the category is not mainstream yet,” says Black. “Over the next five to 10 years, we expect consumer dynamics and tastes to continue to evolve and for interest in craft cocktails to present opportunities for us.”

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