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Hendrick’s, Tullamore Dew Drive U.S. Gains For William Grant & Sons

February 28, 2019

While William Grant & Sons is best known for Scotch whisky—including its Glenfiddich and The Balvenie single malts—the company has seen other categories like gin, Irish whiskey, and Tequila rise in importance within its portfolio.

Hendrick’s, for example, continues to be a star within the U.S. gin category, with depletions surging 19% last year to 440,000 cases, according to Impact Databank, accelerating from 9% growth in the previous year. Even as competition in the super-premium gin segment begins to grow, Hendrick’s, which sells at around $35 750-ml., could potentially surpass a half-million cases in 2019. Senior brand manager Paige Parness tells SND that Hendrick’s expanding range of curated cocktails has been drawing new consumers to the franchise.

In October, William Grant announced a £13 million ($17m) investment to double capacity at its distillery in Girvan, Scotland, where Hendrick’s is produced. Globally, the brand was up 16% to 1.3 million cases last year. William Grant also recently released Hendrick’s first line extension in the U.S. in recent months. Hendrick’s Orbium, 43.4% abv gin made with quinine, wormwood, and lotus blossom, was previously a U.K. exclusive. Orbium is a limited release of 5,000 cases and is available exclusively in the on-premise in select accounts.

In Irish whiskey, Tullamore Dew is making impressive progress. The brand added nearly 70,000 cases in the U.S. last year, reaching 309,000 cases on 28.4% growth. “Irish whiskey is hot, and as a brand, Tullamore Dew is very accessible,” says Harvey Purchese, William Grant & Sons USA’s senior vice president of marketing. “We’ve seen a lot of success with innovations like our Caribbean Rum Cask and Cider Cask finishes, both neat and in cocktails. They’ve allowed us to reach new drinkers as a gateway to the Irish whiskey category.” William Grant completed a $30 million expansion of the Tullamore Dew distillery in late 2017, and has poured more than $70 million into the facility since 2010.

The company is likewise on the move in Tequila with Milagro, which retails in the $25-and-up range. Milagro hit 295,000 cases in the U.S. on 16% growth last year, and its volume has more than doubled since 2012. “2018 was a stellar year for Milagro, marking our fourth consecutive year of double-digit growth,” says Purchese. “This brand will continue to grow faster than the category and gain share from our competitors.”—Shane English

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