Fireball whisky

Australia’s hottest dark spirits for 2020

December 30, 2019
By Alana House

The Summer issue of Drinks Trade is out now and features one of the industry’s annual must-reads – the Hottest 100 Brands Australia 2020 list – with dark spirits leading growth.

This year’s list shows that when established brands innovate and market well, they lead significant growth and create value for both the brand and the retailer.

In the Dark Spirits category, pack format has helped to deliver volume growth, mainly through the 1 litre format, particularly in whiskies. Scotch whiskies have been popular promotions for Father’s Day with brands innovating well. Limited editions (especially Game of Thrones related) were strong deliverers of growth.

A dark spirit took out the No.1 Hottest 100 Brand of 2020 – Canadian Club. It continues to grow due to strong marketing campaigns behind the brand and great consumer satisfaction around the drinkability of the product.

In the past 12 months it’s seen 171,000 litres growth at 11.5%.

It’s also been a lead performer in the Dark RTD space, with 2,060,000 litres growth at 10.2%. The CC RTD Trademark remains the most significant contributor to Dark RTD category MAT (delivering more than $23.8million in incremental value vs last year)

According to Trent Champman, Marketing Director, Oceania at Beam Suntory, the secret that has seen Australian’s fall in love with Canadian Club FBS and the RTD is that it has successfully tapped into “beer boredom insights”, positioning itself as ‘The Refreshing Alternative’ to beer – targeting beer drinkers.

“It’s enabled the brand to grow the Dark RTD category by pulling its volume from a larger volume opportunity being beer,” Chapman said.

“Since then Canadian Club results have been unprecedented – double-digit growth year on year, going from a 500k case brand in 2010 with 2019 on track to delivering just short of four million cases, while expanding margins each year.”

Fireball dark spirits

Another bolter in Dark Spirits is Fireball. Growing at an incredible 41% with an additional 86,000 litres being sold in the last 12 months, Fireball’s growth in the 700ml SKU is tapping the right occasion with brand personality driven by BTL marketing activities.

“On shelf we are $20 more expensive than the two brands in higher growth, with average sell price around $55 vs. $35 in most stores,” said Jon Prew, Fireball Brand Manager.

“We are committed to doing the most talked about activations and innovations in the game, and it’s working. Now is the time to turn small fires into big fires, by getting the brand out to the masses and delivering serious value to our customers.”

Fireball also took out a Most Distinctive Spirit Award at the 2019 Australian Drinks Awards.

Dark spirits

Another highlight for the Dark Spirits RTD category was Jim Beam Black Double Serve, with four-pack and carton driving growth – 623,000 litres growth at 204.4%; and Jim Beam Kentucky Serve, 223,000 litres growth at 800.8%.

Click here to see all the brands that came out on top.

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