Spirits Category Trends: What’s Happening Now & What to Look Out for in 2020 and Beyond
As the year and the decade come to a close, Danny Brager, senior vice president of Nielsen Beverage Alcohol Practice, and Matthew Crompton, client solutions director of Nielsen CGA, will provide a deep dive into the key market trends driving all of the major spirits categories. Brager and Crompton will present the latest Nielsen CGA market intelligence, providing the facts and figures your business needs as you head into 2020. This is the must-attend webinar to help you close out the 2010s and plan for the years ahead.
About Your Presenters
Danny Brager is the Senior Vice President of Nielsen’s Beverage Alcohol Practice Area in the United States, supporting relationships with Nielsen’s many Beer, Wine and Spirits clients, as well as with key industry groups and the media. In this role, Danny and his team supports the differentiated needs of Nielsen’s Beverage Alcohol clients, and provides business information, analysis and insights, focusing on the U.S. retail environment and consumer/shopper – who they are, what they buy, and why. Danny has more than fifteen years of experience specific to the Beverage Alcohol industry, and for the past 30 plus years has held a variety of marketing and sales positions with Nielsen in both Canada and the United States. Danny is a frequent speaker at many client and industry events on the subject of Beverage Alcohol retail and consumer trends. Danny holds an Honors Bachelor of Business Administration from York University in Toronto, Canada. After residing in Western Canada for most of his early years, and then moving in Toronto, he then relocated to Southern California in the mid-1990s, where he still lives.
Matthew Crompton is the Client Solutions Director for Nielsen CGA and is responsible for the implementation of Nielsen CGA’s on premise services in the US. Since joining CGA Strategy in January 2010, Matthew has risen through the CGA ranks becoming an expert in all things on premise. Matthew has managed and provided consultancy for some of the largest Bev Al manufacturers across Europe including Diageo, Anheuser Busch and William Grant & Sons. In January 2014, Matthew became part of the joint venture between CGA and Nielsen which has helped bring the first ever truly robust on premise measurement service to the US. Matthew comes to the US, having also helped launch services in other territories such as France and Germany. Matthew now heads up the US On Premise Solutions team, providing first-class insight into an often perceived dark market. Matthew is originally from the north of England and has embraced American life at every opportunity since relocating to Chicago in August 2015.
When: Tuesday, December 17, 2019, 12pm-1pm EST
Where: Online Webinar
Who: Danny Brager, Senior Vice President, Nielsen Beverage Alcohol Practice and Matthew Crompton, Client Solutions Director, Nielsen CGA
Alaska is perhaps best known for its bounty of natural wonders, wildlife and resources, but The Last Frontier is also home to a thriving group of craft distilleries. Eleven distilleries were operating in the state as of the 2018 Craft Spirits Data Project, with most of them clustered near the state’s largest cities.
At Fairbanks Distilling Co., owner and distiller Patrick Levy creates spirits inside a historic building in downtown Fairbanks. The Old City Hall building is on the National Register of Historic Places and was originally built in 1935 as a combination city hall, police station and fire department. It was the third concrete building in Fairbanks made after two devastating fires had almost destroyed the city. The distillery’s signature product is 68 Below Alaskan Potato Vodka, made with Yukon Gold potatoes and Fox Spring Alaskan water. The distillery’s tasting room is open Tuesday through Saturday, and tours are available by appointment.
Fairbanks is also home to Ursa Major Distilling , which produces Long Winter Vodka, Summer Harvest Gin and Fairbanks Sourdough Rum. Nearby, Hoarfrost Distilling specializes in vodka made from 100% Alaskan barley and Alaskan water. And from Fairbanks, it’s only a 30-minute drive to North Pole, Alaska. Instead of Santa’s workshop, you’ll find Arctic Harvest , a distillery on a 350-acre farm. Established in 2014, Arctic Harvest produces moonshine, whiskey and vodka.
Hundreds of miles south of Fairbanks, Port Chilkoot Distillery is owned and operated by Heather Shade and Sean Copeland in the historical Port Chilkoot area of Haines. Shade is the head distiller and a former national park biologist who heads up recipes and the finer notes of the spirits, as well as the aesthetics of bottle designs, while Copeland focuses on the barrel maturation process. 50 Fathoms Gin is distilled in the London Dry style with a southeast Alaskan twist, featuring hand-harvested local spruce tips. The distillery also makes Icy Straight Vodka and two whiskeys: Boatwright Bourbon and Wrack Line Rye. The distillery’s tasting room—which is open Wednesday to Saturday from October to April, and Monday to Saturday from May to September—offers flights and signature cocktails.
Anchorage, the state’s largest city, is home to Anchorage Distillery and Alaskan Spirits Distillery. Anchorage Distillery makes moonshine, gin, and several vodkas, including Ghost Pepper Vodka. Alaskan Spirits Distillery produces three types of vodka. The distillery has a tasting lounge and offers tours.
Glencairn Releases Black Glass for Black Friday
The whisky world’s favourite and much-loved whisky glass is turning to the dark side for Black Friday with the release of only 1,000 limited-edition elegant black Glencairn Glasses.
These unique glasses will be the first to be officially sold to the public by the award-winning, Scottish family business, Glencairn Crystal. Never before have black Glencairn Glasses been available to buy so now is your chance to procure a piece of whisky industry history.
Available from Friday, November 29 and for as long as stocks last, each glass costs £7 (US$9) and comes in a special edition black box.
The glasses can only be purchased via the Glencairn Crystal online store where you can also find a 20% discount across all Glencairn Glassware items over the Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday. The perfect place to find extra special sparkling gifts for Christmas for whisky-loving friends and family.
Dynamic packaging design is playing a larger and larger role in craft spirits brand differentiation and Saverglass Group is one of the leading suppliers to the industry within that space. We asked marketing director Régis Maillet for his insights on the state of glass packaging and what’s in store for the craft spirits market in 2020 and beyond.
Q: What elements do you see driving spirits packaging innovation in 2020?
Régis Maillet: The emergence of a collective consciousness driven by millennials and the newer generation, focused on showcasing an identity, a need for authenticity and transparency, as well as a concern about environmental challenges. They are looking for the promotion of a new aesthetic of sustainability.
In contrast, there is a need for creativity, shifting, imposed by social networks that work a lot on storytelling, staging but treated with style, idea, eclecticism, inspiration. This generation is fed by stories, which lead to advocating for an aesthetic of surprise!
These elements have distinct characteristics that affect consumer behavior as well as their buying decisions.
In terms of packaging, two major trends will co-exist. First, a focus on eco-packaging that is environmentally friendly. Second is based on ultra-personalization creating surprise while serving the chosen premium/super-premium positioning and value creation of a brand.
What do you see as the key craft spirits trends in 2020?
RM: The total number of active craft distillers increased by 245 in 2018 to surpass the 2,000 mark. The number of craft spirits brands in the U.S. market reached nearly 5,000, with over 600 new brands added in 2018. The U.S. whiskey category holds the greatest value-to-volume ratio, which has led to select whiskey sub-categories (Rye, Tennessee, American Single Malt) to have the most brand introductions in 2018. Volume sales of all craft spirits reached 9.4m nine-liter cases in 2018, with a 26% growth rate year-over-year. Craft spirits volumes now account for 4.1% of the total spirits industry.
The growth of craft spirits in the United States should accelerate and have a greater impact on the balance of spirits produced in America.
To meet the growth of these locally produced American alcohols, most of which are premium and made in an authentic way from quality raw materials and themselves premium, Saverglass has regularly supplied the market with perfectly adapted offers combining authenticity, different designs, personality and bottle quality. Thus, were born the concepts CRAFT, SPEAKEASY and WANTED.
This year, it is expanding its range of bottles dedicated to Craft distillers by offering a new collection of three bottles; enriched with a mechanical cap, perfectly sustainable and allows the bottles to have a second life (as they are reusable!).
This premium concept is called POP. The bottles are called: DIAMOND mechanical cap, BOTANIC mechanical cap and FORTY-SIX mechanical cap.
What are some of the biggest questions/requests you get from spirits producers?
RM: Many questions related to service and personalization of products and packing.
We are often asked about the availability of products, the depth of the ranges, the MOQs, but also about the possibilities of customization offered from engravings to decoration. This fits perfectly into our U.S. service offering as a premiumization specialist.
What packaging advice could you give brands on how to differentiate themselves in the marketplace?
RM: In the premium market: a single watchword: creating value through packaging differentiation. 80% of purchases on a brand (on shelf) are made thanks to the specific look of the bottle, the way it appropriates the brand’s values and differentiates itself from others. The bottle is also the consumer’s first point of contact with the brand (when it is unknown to them). The attention paid to its design is therefore essential. A design with a strong personality can be the first level of the proposal. Then you can play on the choice of a different glass colors to distinguish yourself. Or give it an even stronger signature through the engravings. Then, finally, to stand out completely by working on a decor specific to your brand and thus become totally unique on the market.
Which spirits categories (whiskey, gin, etc.) have been the biggest for your business?
RM: While the spirits market in general has slowed down in recent years, all categories of premium, super premium and prestige spirits have experienced significant growth in the United States and around the world: this is obviously the case for U.S. whiskeys and bourbons, gin, rum in North America and Mexican categories driven by the U.S. consumption market, namely tequila and mezcal.
All the different spirit categories are important to Saverglass. Over the past 30 years, Saverglass has shared with its global partners a cross-category experience (e.g. Cognac and Vodka) to support our customers in the development of different bottles, and serving their new alcohols the best way we can.
We showcase notable books of interest to the craft spirits community.
The NoMad Cocktail Book
Author: Leo Robitschek
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
An illustrated collection of nearly 300 cocktail recipes from the award-winning NoMad Bar, with locations in New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Originally published as a separate book packaged inside The NoMad Cookbook , this revised and stand-alone edition of The NoMad Cocktail Book features more than 100 brand-new recipes (for a total of more than 300 recipes), a service manual explaining the art of drink-making according to the NoMad, and 30 new full-color cocktail illustrations (for a total of more than 80 color and black-and-white illustrations). Organized by type of beverage from aperitifs and classics to light, dark, and soft cocktails and syrups/infusions, this comprehensive guide shares the secrets of bar director Leo Robitschek’s award-winning cocktail program. The NoMad Bar celebrates classically focused cocktails, while delving into new arenas such as festive, large-format drinks and a selection of reserve cocktails crafted with rare spirits.
Everyone knows the parlor game question asked of every chef and food personality in countless interviews: What is the last meal you’d want to eat before you die? But what does it look like when you pose the question to bartenders? In “Last Call,” James Beard Award-winning author Brad Thomas Parsons gathers the intriguing responses from a diverse range of bartenders around the country, including Guido Martelli at the Palizzi Social Club in Philadelphia (he chooses an extra-dry Martini), Joseph Stinchcomb at Saint Leo in Oxford, Mississippi (he picks the Last Word, a pre-Prohibition-era cocktail that’s now a cult favorite), and Natasha David at Nitecap in New York City (she would be sipping an extra-salty Margarita). The resulting interviews and essays reveal a personal portrait of some of the country’s top bartenders and their favorite drinks, while over 40 cocktail recipes and stunning photography make this a keepsake for barflies and cocktail enthusiasts of all stripes.
In our October update, we asked if you could treat yourself from your son or daughter’s Halloween loot, what would you snag? The most popular guilty pleasure has a peanut butter filling. Here are the results:
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups: 18.5%
3 Musketeers: 13.1%
Welcome Newest Voting, Affiliate and Candidate Members!
ACSA extends a warm welcome to a few of our newest members: