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Spirits fast track brands.

The Fast Track is the most elite Growth Brands category, identifying those products that have maintained double-digit growth over each of the past four years. Most impressive are those Fast Track brands with large sales volumes, for as a brand's volume increases--for example, over 1 million cases--large percentage increases are obviously more difficult to achieve. So it is significant that the top three brands listed here not only posted double-digit percentage gains, but also broke the 2 million case mark for the first time in 2005. These include the German liqueur Jagermeister (up 27.8%), Grey Goose, which has continued its rapid growth after Bacardi purchased the superpremium French vodka from Sidney Frank in 2004 (up 25.8%), and Skyy Vodka (up 10.4%). For its part, Ketel One, the high-end vodka from Holland, sold almost 1.6 million cases in 2005.

Of the 15 brands that attained the Fast Track list this year, 12 are making return appearances (Jagermeister, Skyy, Grey Goose, Ketel One, Svedka, Cruzan Rum, Patron Tequila, Jameson, Fris Vodka, Appleton Rum, El Jimador and Tuaca). The three brands new to the Fast Track are all vodkas: the sleek-packaged Three Olives, imported from the UK, which gained 100,000 cases in 2005 (up 28.6% and a previous Rising Star Growth Brand); the domestically produced UV Vodka, also a previous Rising Star (up 31.8%); and Vincent Van Gogh Vodka, imported from The Netherlands (up 25.0%).

The category, composition of the list reflects the major spirits trends in the U.S. market. Vodka dominates with eight entries, tequila and rum each show up twice, as do liqueurs, while whiskey appears once. Interestingly, several of the products listed here benefited from flavored line extensions, which can often add more than just incremental sales. And almost all Fast Track brands can be classified as premium or superpremium products, with imports comprising 13 members of the category and the remaining two being domestically produced.

Notable for their year-over-year growth are Patron Tequila, which saw an 80.9% sales increase to hit 615,000 cases, and Svedka Vodka, with a 42.9% gain, notching sales of 640,000 cases. For its part, Cruzan Ruin added almost 90,000 cases last year, breaking through the half-million case mark (up 20.9%). Other noteworthy gainers included El Jimador Tequila; growing 29.8%; Fris Vodka, up 18.0%; Jameson, with an increase of 17.4%; Tuaca, up 11.9%, and Appleton Rum, with a 10.1% gain.
FAST TRACK BRANDS
Distilled Spirits
(thousands of 9-liter cases)

Distilled Spirits: The brand must have exceeded 100,000 9-liter cases
in 2005, with double-digit growth over each of the past four years.
All brands must be at least five full years of age.

Brand Supplier

Jagermeister Sidney Frank Importing
Grey Goose Bacardi USA
Skyy Skyy Spirits USA
Ketel One Nolet Spirits USA
Svedka Spirits Marque One
Patron The Patron Spirits Company
Cruzan Rum Cruzan Ltd
Three Olives White Rock Distilleries
Jameson Pernod Ricard USA
UV Vodka Phillips Distilling
Fris Vodka Shaw-Ross Int'l Importers
El Jimador Sazerac
Appleton Brown-Forman Beverages
Vincent Van Gogh Vodka Luctor International
Tuaca Brown-Forman Beverages

Brand 2001 2002 2003 2004

Jagermeister 700 900 1,300 1,800
Grey Goose 600 1,150 1,400 1,650
Skyy 1,295 1,495 1,694 1,870
Ketel One 953 1,054 1,243 1,438
Svedka 124 200 306 448
Patron 119 168 203 340
Cruzan Rum 304 340 380 435
Three Olives 27 85 175 350
Jameson 202 226 262 304
UV Vodka 15 65 120 214
Fris Vodka 123 152 195 233
El Jimador 68 76 89 123
Appleton 70 108 122 144
Vincent Van Gogh Vodka 30 70 80 100
Tuaca 64 75 91 101

 2005 '04/'05 '01/'05
Brand (p) % Chg ACGR

Jagermeister 2,300 27.8% 34.6%
Grey Goose 2,075 25.8% 36.4%
Skyy 2,065 10.4% 12.4%
Ketel One 1,593 10.8% 13.7%
Svedka 640 42.9% 50.7%
Patron 615 80.9% 50.8%
Cruzan Rum 526 20.9% 14.7%
Three Olives 450 28.6% ++
Jameson 357 17.4% 15.3%
UV Vodka 282 31.8% ++
Fris Vodka 275 18.0% 22.3%
El Jimador 160 29.8% 23.9%
Appleton 159 10.1% 22.7%
Vincent Van Gogh Vodka 125 25.0% 42.9%
Tuaca 113 11.9% 15.3%

(p) Preliminary ACGR=Annual Compound Growth Rate ++ Greater than 100%
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Title Annotation:GROWTH BRANDS: SPIRITS
Publication:StateWays
Date:Mar 1, 2006
Words:743
Previous Article:StateWays identifies the fastest-selling wines and spirits in the U.S.
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