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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Big Moves in the U.S. Scotch Market

Really interesting numbers on U.S. Scotch whisky sales from Shanken News Daily today. For the first time ever, a single malt -- The Glenlivet -- is one of the top five Scotch sellers. The Glenlivet passed J&B to cross over the 300,000 case threshold. If you needed further proof of premiumization in this market, Johnnie Walker Black is selling significantly more than JW Red:
The brand, including Black, Red, Blue, Green, Gold and Swing, had total volume of 1.61 million cases in the U.S. market last year. Black continues to comprise a greater portion of the total Johnnie Walker brand, reaching an estimated 810,000 cases last year compared to Red’s 720,000 cases. Back in 2000, Black was the smaller player with 550,000 cases, compared to Red’s 675,000 cases.
Fascinating.The top five sellers' total volume was down 4.3% (The Glenlivet was up 8%, but #2 Dewar's was down over 14%), but the overall market was up 8%, while dollar sales grew 14%. Sound familiar to folks who follow the craft beer market?

For those of you who asked for more numbers...

USA - Top Five Scotch Whisky Brands
(thousands of nine-liter case depletions)
1Johnnie Walker1Diageo North America1,4151,5791,6102.6%2.0%
2Dewar’sBacardi USA1,3751,4001,200-2.7%-14.3%
3Clan MacGregorWilliam Grant & Sons USA650637594-1.8%-6.8%
4Chivas RegalPernod Ricard USA484397402-3.6%1.3%
5The GlenlivetPernod Ricard USA2322863095.9%8.0%

Total Top Five4,1564,2994,115-0.2%-4.3%

1 includes Black, Red, Blue, Green, Gold and Swing
2 average annual compound growth rate



Bill said...

The quote shows JW has made substantial gains over a decade -- did they drop from last year to this? That is, are the declines solely among the top blended brands, or do the JW brands buck the trend?

Also, are Red and Black counted separately? I'm trying to figure out who's in the top 5 -- One or two JWs, Dewars, the Glenlivet, and... Chivas Regal? Cutty Sark? Can't be Ballantine's, can it? A bottom-shelf brand like Clan Macgregor?

Gary Gillman said...

Absolutely, good analysis.


Bill said...

Thanks so much. So apparently if we break out the JW labels separately, Dewar's would be the top-selling brand. I would have guessed otherwise. I'm really surprised Clan MacGregor is as high as it is, but I guess there aren't many competing Scotch whiskies at that price point.

Lew Bryson said...

True, Bill; that was a surprise to me as well. Dewar's does -- did? -- well in this market, apparently. Still, Black and Red together top it, and I wonder how the dollar figures on Black would do against Dewar's?

As for Clan MacGregor, there are surprising under-the-radar brands in almost every category, sometimes ones I'd never heard of.

Benji - The Margaret River Guide said...

Now this is good to see that a good single malt is making it up there. My favourite malt has to be Dalwhinnie, this is simply the finest whisky out there. What do you think?

Lew Bryson said...

To be honest? Really more a bourbon man.