MarketLine Blog

Posts about Spirits

For relaxing times; future of Suntory’s Beam Inc. acquisition far from on the rocks


Suntory’s surprise $16bn acquisition of American spirits manufacturer Beam Inc., one of the largest outbound deals in Japanese history, catapulted the company from a relatively obscure food and beverage company to the third largest premium spirits company in the world. Announced in January 2014, the deal took the industry by surprise. However, faced with a shrinking domestic market, the acquisition was a culmination of Suntory’s efforts to expand its foreign operations after large-scale takeovers of Frucor and Orangina Schweppes in 2009, and Lucozade and Ribena in 2013. Furthermore, the company… Read more

The US craft beer industry is booming


Craft brewers are small, independent, and traditional. Craft brewers have an annual production of less than 6 million barrels of beer or fewer, have less than 25% owned by a non-craft brewer, and use adjuncts to enhance rather than lighten flavor, or at least 50% of their products brewed by volume are malt beers. The US craft beer industry has surged since the late noughties. Worth an estimated $10.2bn in 2012, the craft beer industry far outgrew the overall beer industry. While craft beer sales grew by 15% by volume… Read more

Premixed Smirnoff Vodka and Cola Case Study: Propelling Premix Spirits into the Mainstream


Although the UK RTD (ready to drink) sector is in long-term decline, Diageo has been innovating with a new range of canned premixed ready to drink spirit and mixer serves. Trading heavily on their low-entry price points and convenience credentials, this article looks at Diageo’s stable of premix alcoholic beverages, and the Smirnoff and Cola SKU in particular, and examines how they have created a distinct segment in the UK alcoholic beverages market. Convenience is not as big a consumer pull in alcohol as in other areas of CPG, such… Read more

Craft Beers in the US & UK: How Mainstream Brewers can Benefit From the Trend Towards Craft Beers


Amid data showing that the craft beer sub-sector has posted strong growth in an otherwise dismal US beer category, brewer MillerCoors has pooled all its craft-style domestic and international brands into a new craft-focused division called Tenth and Blake. The UK real ale sub-sector is also showing positive growth in a poor overall environment. The success of craft beer has arisen as it dovetails with various important consumer trends: it fits with the general trend towards trading up; it capitalizes on desires to purchase authentic products; it goes with the… Read more

Premium Spirits Harnessing Greater Consumer Spending Power in the Chinese Market


Rising wealth among Chinese consumers has driven the market for luxury goods. While premium imported spirits have status-symbol appeal, they are also faced with strong competition from both within and outside the category. This article looks at opportunities for international spirits manufacturers in China, and the issues that need to be addressed when strategizing market entry and/or expansion. China is a key growth market for virtually all consumer packaged goods (CPG) categories, as the sheer size and spending power of the market is difficult to ignore. For premium spirits, the… Read more

Aperol – Aligning an Authentic Italian Alcohol Brand with Contemporary Consumer Needs


Amid volume declines in spirits generally, Gruppo Campari’s Aperol brand has achieved dramatic growth since 2004, with total sales quadrupling off the back of expansion both throughout its core Italian market and into Austria and Germany. This article examines how the Aperol brand has managed to achieve strong resonance among a geographically widening range of consumers despite its focus on the premium and on-trade aspects of the alcohol market in the middle of the global economic downturn. The Aperol brand has been one of the most notable success stories in… Read more