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Phillips Distilling’s Prairie Organic Offsetting UV’s Struggles

May 2, 2016

Long led by its flavor-focused UV vodka franchise, Minneapolis-based Phillips Distilling is now putting more focus on premium vodka label Prairie Organic, which has roughly tripled in size to 120,000 cases over the past two years. Phillips Distilling director of marketing and creative Marla Burke tells SND that the brand is on track to continue growing—and potentially accelerate—this year.

Retailing at around $20 a 750-ml., Prairie Organic is made with organic corn sourced from local Minnesota farmers. The brand’s artisanal and ecofriendly production process has played a key role in Prairie Organic’s recent success. “People want to know where products are from, and they often want to know whether they’re farm-to-table,” Burke says.

Minnesota is Prairie Organic’s top market, followed by California, where it’s performing well in the grocery channel. Other key markets include Illinois, Florida and New Jersey. In the on-premise, which accounts for 40% of the brand’s business, Prairie’s partnerships with Darden’s Yard House and Seasons 52 restaurant chains have proven fruitful.

Prairie Organic’s double-digit gains have helped offset the struggles of larger sister brand UV ($12), which hit a high of 1.6 million cases in 2012 but has steadily lost ground since then, falling 5.4% to 1.2 million cases last year.

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