Texas-Based Western Son On A Double-Digit Growth TrajectoryNovember 17, 2021
It may not be the biggest Texas-born vodka in the U.S., but after years of double-digit gains Pilot Point-based Western Son is carving out a growing presence. Last year, Western Son rose 44% to 332,000 9-liter cases, doubling its 2018 volume, according to Impact Databank, and the company tells SND its double-digit pace is continuing this year.
Western Son’s vodka portfolio is available in 47 states and retails for $16-$18 a 750-ml., slightly below fellow Texas vodka brands Tito’s and Deep Eddy. The 10-times distilled, corn-based original unflavored variant accounts for more than 50% of sales. Western Son’s second-most popular flavored variant, Blueberry, is also its top SKU on-premise, while original flavor, Grapefruit, is another strong seller. A Lemon expression debuted in January. “The approach is a lighter flavor profile, versus something that’s overly sweet,” says Erin King, director of brand marketing and on-premise.
Western Son completed a $3 million expansion of its distillery and tourism facilities in 2020 that included a nearby distribution center. “Even before Covid, we were shifting a bit of our focus to gain more off-premise traction,” King adds. While the off-premise proved essential during pandemic-related closures, the brand has now seen a strong rebound in the on-premise as well, leveraging its availability as supply chain disruptions hamper some brands in the vodka category.
In addition to its vodka lineup, Western Son produces an original Texas Gin, barrel select Texas Gin and a single barrel whiskey, as well as premixed vodka-based craft cocktails ($10 a four-pack of 200-ml. bottles) and Spiked Ice popsicles ($18 a 12-pack of 100-ml. popsicles). King says Western Son is focused on further penetration in major markets like Texas, California, Florida and New York, while aggressively targeting other emerging areas. The brand is planning a new marketing campaign called “Make It Yours” that invites consumers to further explore mixology options with its flavored vodka portfolio.—Kimberly TharelSubscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning.