All three alcohol categories had their weakest volume performance thus far in the year in 3Q. Spirits volumes were -2.4 percent in 1Q13, improved to -1.4 percent in 2Q13, but softened to -3.1 percent in 3Q13, and were even softer at -3.5 percent during the most recent 4 weeks. Looking at the on-premise segments, y/y volume growth for Spirits in 3Q was +0.6 percent in Fine Dining (softer than 1Q and 2Q), -2.2 percent in Bars/Clubs, and -4.3 percent in Casual Dining.
Despite the weak volumes for Spirits thus far in 3Q13, Spirits nonetheless continues to gain share of overall alcohol mix, coming primarily at the expense of beer. During 3Q13, Wine gained 0.3 points of y/y alcohol mix and Spirits gained 0.2 points, while beer lost nearly 0.6 points.
Brown spirits continue to solidly out-perform clear spirits in 3Q. In terms of y/y volume growth: Bourbons/Blends +16 percent, Irish +6 percent (though softened from +12-13 percent growth in 1H13), Brandy/Cognac -2 percent, Scotch -5 percent, Gin -4 percent, Tequila -3 percent, Canadian -7 percent, Vodka -8 percent (much softer than in off-premise), Rum (-10 percent), and Cordials (-15 percent, should be noted we classify the various flavored whiskies in Bourbons/Blends and Irish).
The largest y/y share gainers in 3Q were Fireball (+1.5 points), Tito’s (+0.6), Jameson (+0.3), Don Julio (+0.2) & Bulleit (+0.2). The largest share donors were Stoli (-0.4 points), Three Olives (-0.3), Jager (-0.3), and Grey Goose, Captain Morgan & Bacardi all at -0.2 points. Fireball, Tito’s, Don Julio & Bulleit have been picking up momentum, while Stoli has been deteriorating
In terms of y/y gains in share of the overall spirits category among the 900+ spirits suppliers we track, Sazerac posted the largest gain in 3Q share at +1.7 points, Fifth Generation gained +0.6 points, and Beam gained +0.2 points. On the other end of the spectrum, Bacardi lost -0.7 points of share, William Grant -0.4 points, Patron Spirits -0.4 points, Proximo -0.4 points, and Diageo -0.3 points of share. Sazerac and Fifth Generation are both continuing to pick up momentum relative to the rest of the spirits category, posting even larger gains of share during the most recent 4 weeks.