Flavored Whiskies Approaching 18 Million Cases In The U.S. This YearDecember 22, 2022
Flavored whiskies continue to be a vibrant category in the U.S., with an array of brands and flavors connecting with consumers for a variety of drinking occasions. In 2021, the overall category was up 5%, cracking 17 million cases in the U.S. This year flavored whiskies are projected to approach a total of 18 million cases, according to Impact Databank.
NABCA data through October shows a mixed bag for the leading flavored whiskies, with many of the same labels that grew in 2021 staying the course and several of the brands facing challenges continuing to do so. Sazerac’s Fireball remains the largest flavored whiskey in the U.S., with volume expected to surpass 7 million cases this year. Fireball has a massive lead on its competition—nearly 5 million cases separate Fireball and second-ranked player Crown Royal Regal Apple—and the cinnamon-flavored offering posted nearly 3% control state growth from its enormous base in the first 10 months of this year.
In addition to Regal Apple, a nearly 2-million-case player, Crown Royal’s flavor range includes extensions like Vanilla and Peach, the latter of which is up 55% in control states this year. “Crown Royal Peach will now be a permanent SKU for the brand, as consumers desire the signature flavor all year long,” the company tells SND. “Additionally, consumers are looking forward to the return of Crown Royal Salted Caramel, a limited time offering available nationwide during the winter months.”
Ole Smoky’s flavored whiskies are also showing impressive double-digit growth in control state channels this year. The extensive portfolio has been boosted lately by flavors like Peanut Butter and Salty Caramel, with up and coming entries like Salty Watermelon and Mango Habanero also contributing to gains.
The Skrewball peanut butter whiskey brand, part of the Infinium Spirits stable, jumped out to 600,000 cases in only a few years on the market, and recently launched its first extension, a limited edition Eggnog. Bottled at 14.75% abv, it’s made with the brand’s peanut butter flavored whiskey and eggnog made with dairy cream. “Skrewball Whiskey is known for breaking the mold with innovative flavors and premium ingredients, so we knew it was a natural next step to transform a seasonal classic and continue driving the flavored whiskey category forward in unexpected ways,” said brand president Carl Carlson.
At Brown-Forman, “continued consumer desire for convenience and flavor drove gains in Jack Daniel’s RTDs, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, and Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire,” in the company’s fiscal first half ended in October. Fellow American whiskey players Jim Beam and Evan Williams are likewise active in the category with several flavors each under their core brands.
A notable release in the last year is Jameson Orange, the Pernod Ricard brand’s first flavored offering after years of special cask finished releases augmenting the flavor of Irish whiskey. The 30% abv extension is made with Jameson and natural orange flavor and is suggested to be consumed neat, on-the-rocks, or in a range of mixed drinks. Jameson whiskey senior brand director Kelly Suhr says flavors can stretch a brand’s reach. “Consumers have embraced flavored whiskies as a fun way to explore the whisk(e)y category as a whole,” she says.
|Leading Flavored Whiskies In The U.S.|
in Control States
|Southern Comfort||Sazerac Co||970||-5.3%|
|Ole Smoky||Ole Smoky
|Crown Royal Peach||Diageo||705||55.4%|
|Total Leading Brands||12,024||4.0%|
|1 Thousands of 9-liter cases.
2 Year-to-date through October.
Source: NABCA and IMPACT DATABANK © 2022