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Impact’s “Hot Prospect” Spirits Brands Showcase A Diverse Mix Of Rising Stars

September 9, 2019

Each year, Impact’s “Hot Prospect” awards highlight the emerging stars of the industry—those that are poised to drive significant growth across the wine and spirits business in the years ahead. This year, a total of 90 brands met Hot Prospect criteria, split nearly evenly among spirits and wine brands.

To qualify as Hot Prospects, brands must have achieved at least 15% depletions growth for 2018, while also showing consistent growth in the two preceding years. For spirits, brand volumes must be between 50,000 and 200,000 cases.

This year’s Hot Prospects spirits list presents a nearly even spread across the major categories, with American and imported whiskies, Tequilas, rums, vodkas, liqueurs, brandies, and RTDs all represented. Scotch and other imported whiskies stepped up to claim eight spots, as did a mix of imported and domestic vodkas. Even as many of the top vodkas lose ground or remain stagnant, flavored expressions and smaller brands are finding room for expansion. Right behind are American whiskies and Tequila with seven entries each. Of the 41 spirits labels that achieved Hot Prospect status, a full 22 were newcomers.

While major marketers like Diageo, Pernod Ricard, Beam Suntory, Proximo, Heaven Hill, William Grant, and Campari all fielded brands on the Hot Prospect spirits roster, they’re not the only ones laying down growth markers for the years ahead. Ambitious smaller players like Western Son, Roc House Brands, Maison Ferrand, and Milestone Brands also earned awards for brands in their respective portfolios.

Hot Prospect spirits brands above the 100,000-case mark included Jameson Caskmates, Western Son vodka, Recipe 21 vodka, Jim Beam Vanilla, Blue Chair Bay rum, Aperol, Reyka vodka, Campari, Elijah Craig, Crown Royal Salted Caramel, Smirnoff Red, White, & Berry, Reserva de Don Julio Añejo, High West, Larceny, and Jose Cuervo Authentic Pink Lemonade.

The full list, along with data and analysis, appears in the September 1&15 issue of Impact.

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