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

Impact’s “Blue Chip” Brands Showcase The Stars Of The Industry

September 24, 2018

Impact has revealed its annual list of “Blue Chip” brands, saluting the market’s best-performing major players over the long term. Highlighting the blockbuster spirits, wine, and beer brands that have shown consistent growth amid increasingly competitive conditions, the Blue Chip brands are nothing less than the stars of the drinks industry. Sixty-four brands met the awards’ lofty criteria this year.

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 1% for beer from 2007-2017 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 9-liter cases for spirits and wine, and 5 million (2.25-gallon) cases for beer.

A total of 24 brands from the spirits category earned Blue Chip honors this year. With the brown spirits boom ongoing, 11 whiskies made the grade, including four of the five largest brands on the list: Jack Daniel’s, Crown Royal, Fireball, and Jim Beam. Tequila was also well represented with five brands, as was vodka, which fielded six entries, including a new addition to the list, Fifth Generation Inc.’s Tito’s. The Cognac and rum categories, meanwhile, had one Blue Chip brand each.

This year’s Blue Chip wine brands numbered 27 entries, with California accounting for 20 of the winning labels. Golden State Blue Chips included volume drivers like Barefoot, Sutter Home, and Woodbridge, but also higher-end franchises like Meiomi and Domaine Chandon. Outside California, two Washington wines made the list, as did five imported wine brands. Four sparkling wines likewise earned Blue Chip awards, reflecting the ongoing rise of the bubbly segment in the U.S.

In beer, the Blue Chip roster is heavily weighted toward the Mexican import category, which comprises more than half of the 13 brands on the list. Returning Mexican Blue Chips Modelo Especial, Dos Equis Lager, Corona Light, Pacifico, and Tecate Light were joined by two countrymates new to the fold. Of the seven Mexican imports on the list, five also earned Impact “Hot Brand” awards earlier this year, testament to their ongoing stellar growth.

The full roster of Blue Chip Brands, as well as accompanying data and analysis, is featured in Impact’s October 1 issue. Click here to subscribe.

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