Jack Daniel’s Honey juggernaut gathers pace

4th December, 2014 by Becky Paskin

Sales of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey have grown by a third in the first six months of this year alone, helping to drive overall revenue growth for owner Brown-Forman.

Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey

Jack Daniel’s is building solidly on its one million cases sold in 2013

The honey-flavoured whiskey liqueur, which became the first to reach one million case sales earlier this year, grew by 39% in the six months to 31 October, driven by expansion into new markets and continued growth in the US.

Its delisting in Russia in August over claims it contained a “substance not usually used by whiskey producers”, did not impact overall sales, and contributed to an overall Jack Daniel’s portfolio growth of 5%.

The results, in turn, led overall net sales growth for Brown-Forman of 4%, to US$2.05 billion for H1, despite unfavourable foreign exchange that negatively impacted operating income in Q2 by 10%.

Paul Varga, CEO of Brown-Forman, said: “Brown-Forman’s top-tier underlying results in the first half were roughly in-line with our expectations, despite the backdrop of a tough trading environment for our industry.

“As anticipated, underlying net sales growth accelerated in our second quarter, and we believe that underlying trends remain favourable as we head into the important holiday selling season.”

Market performance

As its core market, the US delivered 6% sales growth for the group, driven by Jack Daniel’s and double digit growth for its Tequila portfolio, which includes Herradura (up 20%) and el Jimador (up 9%).

Outside the US, strong developed markets like the UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, and France boosted overall sales by 4%, although declines were felt in Germany and Australia.

The emerging markets meanwhile delivered 2% sales growth, driven by double-digit increases in Turkey, Brazil, Indonesia, Ukraine and sub-Saharan Africa.

Brand performance

While Jack Daniel’s was once again the star performer of Brown-Forman’s stable, the Woodford Reserve family of whiskeys delivered 34% sales growth in the half, with Old Forester up by “double-digits” thanks to strong interest in the on-trade.

The group’s Finlandia Vodka portfolio faired less favourably, declining by 7% “due largely to continued weakness in Poland”, while Southern Comfort also fell by 4% as pressure increased from the flavoured whiskey sector.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to our newsletter