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Growth Continues.

In this issue of Beverage Dynamics we celebrate Growth Brands, the spirits, wines and beers that have collectively driven the industry forward over the last few years. Throughout each year our spirits, wine and beer category stories, news articles and business reports talk about brands' current performance and marketplace activity, and while there are many reasons why a brand may show volume increases in one year, to do so consistently for five or more years is another thing altogether and certainly can't be attributed to a fad or plain dumb luck.

Looking at the brands included among this year's Growth Brands (see page 14) tells a lot about what people are drinking. Scattered among the Established Growth Brands, Rising Stars, Fast Track and Comeback Brands are 17 vodkas, the most of any distilled spirits category. Found at every price point, these brands include high-volume domestics, high-image imports and everything in between. The other categories with significant representation--cordials, rum, tequila, imported gin, cognac--are all those with strong overall growth in recent years.

Virtually the entire wine industry has seen growth in the last year or two, but as the charts show, a number of brands have skyrocketed past the rest of the industry. Among the Established Growth Brands, the five-year average compound growth rate runs from 9.6% to 41.4%, and among the Fast Track Brands the ACGRs run from a strong 13.2% (Beringer) to an amazing 94% (Talus). Rising Star wine brands like Arbor Mist (3.4 million cases in its second year on the market) and Luna di Luna (+104% in 1999) further demonstrate the vitality of today's wine business.

And in beer, some of the strongest growth is, not surprisingly, in the light and imported beer segments. Of the 28 beer brands receiving recognition, nine were light beers, including huge brands like Bud Light, Miller Lite and Coors Light, as well as much smaller brands with large percentage gains, such as Corona Light and Southpaw Light. And there were 13 imports among the Growth winners.

As I said at the outset, looking at the Growth Brand charts in this issue tells a lot about what people are buying and drinking today and by inference what they're likely to continue drinking. Take a look at the brands and their performance nationally and compare it to what's going on in your own store. Particularly take note of the Rising Star and Fast Track Brands. They're the established brands of tomorrow but the profit opportunities of today.

So please join me in applauding all the brands receiving Growth Brand honors on a job well done.


Robert Keane

Editorial Director
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Publication:Beverage Dynamics
Date:Apr 1, 2000
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