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Heaven Hill’s Evan Williams Crosses 2 Million Cases, Projects Further Growth Ahead

March 30, 2016

With an accessible, under-$20 price point welcoming consumers into the American whiskey category, Heaven Hill’s Evan Williams has been among Bourbon’s strongest performers recently. According to Impact Databank, the brand crossed the 2-million-case threshold last year on a 15% increase (excluding flavors), capping a three-year run in which it has expanded by 50% from an already sizeable base. “We expect to see continued high single-digit to double-digit growth over the next year,” says Susan Wahl, Heaven Hill’s group product manager, whiskey portfolio.

In the flavored whiskey segment, Evan Williams recently launched a Peach variant under its Flavored Reserves line—which rose 12% to 220,000 cases last year—and Wahl believes flavors will continue to be a valuable extension of the Bourbon category. “We see three things happening in the flavor area,” she observes. “New consumers to whiskey coming in through the flavors and migrating to the mainline brand; flavored vodka and liqueur users coming to whiskey flavors and not exploring beyond them; and mainline Bourbon users enjoying flavors for an occasional change of pace or sharing with a wider group of friends.”

Heaven Hill, which is planning a $15.5 million expansion project at its Bernheim Distillery—where Evan Williams, Elijah Craig, Larceny, Old Fitzgerald and others are produced—has also been expanding at Bourbon’s upscale end. After a three-year hiatus due to inventory shortages, Elijah Craig reintroduced its 18-year-old Single Barrel whiskey last fall at $120 a bottle, and released a limited amount of 23-year-old Single Barrel ($199) as well.

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