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At 10 Million Cases And Climbing, Tito’s Sees Plenty Of Runway Ahead

September 22, 2021

The largest selling spirits brand in the U.S., Tito’s Handmade Vodka long ago transcended its category and imposed itself as a dominant force in the market propelling the fortunes of distributors and retailers across the country. According to Impact Databank, Tito’s finished 2020 at 10.4 million cases on 18% growth, capping a five-year run in which it expanded by 25% annually and tacked on more than 7 million cases. This year the brand appears poised to continue its double-digit trajectory, even from its enormous base, with its control state volume rising 11% in the first seven months of 2021. Impact Databank projects that Tito’s will surpass the 11-million-case mark for the full calendar year.

As large as the brand has become, Tito’s marketers see ample white space for it to exploit as it looks to continue its expansion. “We believe we have a lot of room to grow both from a consumer and market standpoint: a lot of upside growth with our current consumer base, as well as opportunities to invite new consumers to try Tito’s Handmade Vodka,” vice president of trade marketing Frank Polley tells SND.

The rebound of the on-premise has offered Tito’s renewed opportunities to engage with consumers. “Overall, the on-premise has been gaining strength, particularly the last six months,” Polley notes. “We’ve seen a much better balance in performance between the two channels.” But he adds that both Tito’s and its competitors “will likely continue to see fluctuations as markets deal with surges of the virus.”

In terms of marketing, Tito’s has made a heavy push into the golf space this year, becoming the Official Vodka of the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions in a five-year deal that includes brand activations throughout the season. Tito’s is also the Official Supplier and Vodka of the Ryder Cup, currently being held at Whistling Straits in Kohler, Wisconsin.

The Ryder Cup effort includes an “interactive Tito’s Stillhouse Lounge” and signature cocktails. Polley says the brand’s golf programming has been effective in drawing in new consumers, especially “with so many new players picking up clubs for the first time” during the pandemic.—Daniel Marsteller

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