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Aperol Leads Growth Within Campari’s Rising Bitters Portfolio

December 27, 2017

With millennial consumers avidly exploring new taste profiles, the bitters segment has enjoyed increasing momentum lately. Campari America, whose portfolio includes its namesake bitter as well as Aperol, Cynar, Averna and Braulio, is seeing strong traction in the category, driven by the mixology movement.

Aperol in particular has been on a steep growth curve in the U.S. lately, with depletions projected to rise 19% to 80,000 cases this year, according to Impact Databank. As recently as 2010, Aperol was at under 10,000 cases in the U.S. Campari has also been growing strongly in recent years—roughly doubling in size from 2011-2016—although depletions growth is projected to slow to 1% to 111,000 cases for 2017. In the first nine months of this year, Aperol’s U.S. net sales grew by 58%, the company said, while Campari’s were up 17%. With expansion occurring both in the U.S. and other key global markets, Aperol has now risen to become the largest brand by value in the Gruppo Campari portfolio, representing 14% of sales.

“Almost all bitter brands are growing right now, driven by high consumer and bartender interest,” notes Melanie Batchelor, vice president of marketing at Campari America. “We’ve seen incredible growth for the bitters portfolio over the past several years, with Campari eclipsing 100,000 cases in the U.S., Aperol hitting very high double-digit growth fueled by the Aperol Spritz, and bartender darlings like Cynar, Averna and Braulio causing a lot of buzz in the cocktail community.”

Aperol, which is at 11% abv, is benefiting from the trend toward lower-alcohol cocktails, as well as its compatibility with another fast-rising category: Prosecco. “Consumers are looking for a substitute for the beer and wine moment, and our Italian portfolio, particularly when matched with Prosecco, provides a refreshing option,” says Batchelor. Meanwhile, cocktails such as the Negroni, Americano and Boulevardier are driving consumption for Campari. This year’s Negroni Week, held in June, engaged more than 7,800 bars in 61 countries, further increasing the Campari brand’s exposure while raising over a half-million dollars for charitable causes around the globe.

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