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Exclusive: Whiskies, Tequilas Lead The Latest Edition Of Impact’s “Hot Brands”

March 6, 2020

SND sister publication Shanken’s Impact Newsletter unveiled its annual list of “Hot Brands” this morning at the 44th Annual Impact Marketing Seminar in New York. In the spirits category, a total of 31 brands earned honors for their sterling 2019 performances.

As has been the case in recent years, Tequilas and whiskies lead the Hot Brands spirits awards. Those two categories comprise roughly two-thirds of the list, with some 12 whiskies and eight Tequilas earning honors. Within whiskey, Bourbon figures heavily with eight Hot Brand award winners, while Canadian whisky, flavored whiskies, and moonshine are also represented.

Domestic vodka, despite challenging category conditions, held firm with five Hot Brands for 2019, while Cognac and liqueurs have one Hot Brand representative each. Prepared cocktails also made a strong showing with four brands on the roster, as consumers increasingly explore the growing segment. Some notable categories missing from the Hot Brands roster this year include Scotch and Irish whiskies, imported vodka, and gin.

To qualify as Hot Brands, spirits must have a minimum volume of 200,000 cases, and also be at least one of the following: 1) an established brand with double-digit growth in each of the past three years; 2) an established brand with at least 15% growth in 2019; 3) one of the U.S. market’s top 10 spirits brands with at least 5% growth in 2019 and at least 15% aggregate growth since 2016; or 4) a significant new product.

Spirits Hot Brands above 400,000 cases this year include: Tito’s, Crown Royal, Jim Beam, Fireball, Platinum 7X, Jose Cuervo Especial Silver, Deep Eddy, Don Julio, Woodford Reserve, 1800 Ultimate Margarita, Espolòn, Cazadores, Casamigos, Ole Smoky, and Lunazul.

The full Hot Brands list and analysis for both spirits and wine appears in the March 1&15 issue of Impact. Beer’s Hot Brands will be announced in the June 1&15 edition. Click here to subscribe.

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