Exclusive news and research on the wine, spirits and beer business

Exclusive: Stars Of The Drinks Industry Lead Impact’s “Blue Chip Brands”

October 11, 2017

Impact has unveiled its annual list of Blue Chip Brands, honoring the drinks business’s most successful—and enduring—brand franchises. This year, some 61 brands from across the industry met Impact’s lofty criteria earn a place on the Blue Chips list.

To qualify as Blue Chip Brands, winners must record at least 10 straight years of volume increases or have an average annual compound growth rate of at least 1.5% for wine, 2% for spirits and 0.5% for beer from 2006-2016 while recording increases in at least eight of those 10 years. The brands also must have gross profit margins of at least $25 million. Minimum volume requirements are 500,000 nine-liter cases for spirits and wine, and 5 million (2.25-gallon) cases for beer.

In the spirits category, 24 brands earned Blue Chip honors. Whiskies top the spirits roster this year, accounting for nine entries. The four largest spirits Blue Chips by volume—Jack Daniel’s, Crown Royal, Fireball and Jim Beam, respectively—all hail from the whisk(e)y category, with Fireball making its first appearance on the list following a decade of outstanding growth. Eight vodkas—including newcomer Platinum 7X—also made the grade.

In wine, premium California labels led the way, accounting for 18 of the 26 Blue Chip award winners. Constellation paced the field in the wine category with six Blue Chips, while E.&J. Gallo had four entries. Meanwhile, Trinchero Family Estates has three honorees on the list this year, while Ste. Michelle Wine Estates is present with a pair of Washington brands. Fifteen of the 26 Blue Chip wines averaged double-digit annual growth from 2006-2016, highlighting the strong progress of the premium wine category over the past decade.

The Blue Chip beer list includes 11 entrants, led by five Mexican brands. A pair of craft entries—Lagunitas IPA and Shiner Bock—also met the Blue Chip criteria, along with a number of other honorees from the portfolios of giants like Anheuser-Busch InBev, MillerCoors, Heineken USA, Constellation and Pabst Brewing.

The full roster of Blue Chip Brands, as well as accompanying data and analysis, is featured in Impact’s October 15 issue. Click here to subscribe.

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