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Polish Vodka Drives Deutsch’s Spirits Growth, As Josh Soars On Wine Side

February 17, 2016

Many of the U.S. market’s leading wine importers have moved into the spirits category in recent years, and Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits is no exception.

Last year, the White Plains, New York-based Deutsch saw its Luksusowa vodka brand jump 15% to reach 250,000 cases, according to Impact Databank. A potato vodka imported from Poland, Luksusowa joined the Deutsch stable in 2010. While it posted steady advances in the ensuing years, the brand has now accelerated markedly to become one of the fastest risers in the imported vodka category.

Deutsch also has high hopes for its Redemption Rye whiskey brand, acquired last summer from industry veterans Dave Schmier and Michael Kanbar. Sourced from the MGP distillery in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, Redemption retails at around $30 a 750-ml. and is known for its high-rye-content, high-proof whiskies, each of which are hand-numbered. Deutsch says supply constraints have limited Redemption’s distribution in the near-term, but looking ahead to next year, the brand will double its allocations, and stocks are being ramped up toward a national rollout. Redemption is well-positioned to prosper in a rye segment that is nearing 700,000 cases annually in the U.S. on nearly 20% growth. Deutsch’s spirits portfolio also includes Spain’s Licor 43, which rose 3% to nearly 70,000 cases last year, and Villa Massa limoncello, which grew 11% to 18,000 cases.

Meanwhile, Deutsch Family’s core wine business continues to demonstrate robust expansion in what the company calls the “low lux” segment, retailing from $10-$25 a bottle. Led by Josh Cellars, the California brand that nearly doubled in size last year to 980,000 cases, according to Impact Databank, Deutsch was the fastest-growing U.S. wine supplier by dollar value in the top 10 in the latter half of 2015, according to Nielsen.

The solid results above $10 a bottle have taken pressure off Deutsch as its Yellow Tail label, retailing around $7, has struggled to advance lately. In 2015, Yellow Tail slipped 3.6% to 8 million cases in the U.S. Speaking of the shift upmarket, CEO Peter Deutsch told SND he continues to see “long-term growth potential” in the low-lux tier, with Deutsch Family outpacing the overall category.

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