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Tito’s, Hennessy, And Cuervo Drive Solid Spirits Growth In Control States

August 3, 2020

After a 17% surge in control states in March as drinkers stocked up during quarantines, spirits sales have decelerated but remain strong in the 18 control jurisdictions, according to the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA). Volumes in the first six months of the year rose 6% cumulatively in control states, compared to a 3.7% increase for all of 2019. Nine control states have posted double-digit gains year-to-date, to more than offset the 21% decline in Pennsylvania.

Sazerac led all spirits marketers in control states with 16% share of volume for the first six months of 2020, followed closely by Diageo. But the fastest-growing company among the top 10 largest-sellers in NABCA year-to-date was Proximo Spirits, with a 25.6% rise, thanks to a 48% surge by Jose Cuervo Especial Silver Tequila. Next-fastest was Fifth Generation Inc, parent company of Tito’s vodka, the top-selling spirit in NABCA channels, with an 18% gain. Tito’s is projected to surpass Smirnoff vodka to become the nation’s leading spirits brand by the end of the year, according to Impact Databank.

Among the 10 largest-selling spirits brands in NABCA, the fastest growth rates in June were registered by Hennessy Cognac (+52%) and New Amsterdam vodka (+38%). Six major spirits categories registered double-digit increases in June: domestic whiskies, Canadian whisky, brandy/Cognac, cordials and liqueurs, pre-mixed cocktails, and Tequila. Year-to-date, domestic whiskies (+11.5%), Tequila (+13.4%) and pre-mixed cocktails (+39.5%) have recorded double-digit gains, with cordials/liqueurs the lone major category to post a cumulative loss (-0.5%), primarily due to declines in Pennsylvania.—Juan Banaag

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