Local Spirits Brand Champion 2019: Mistral

17th June, 2019 by admin

Mistral pisco grew 5.5% to 1.36m cases last year

It’s unlikely that many readers in the west will be familiar with the name Mistral, but the Chilean pisco is one of the world’s best­-selling spirits brands. Launched 20 years ago, the brand focuses on the premium end of the market, a strategy that is paying off by recruiting aspirational drinkers in Chile. The brand sells the bulk of its volumes in its home market, and shifted a global total of 1.36m cases last year, an increase of 5.5% compared to 2017.

Speaking to The Spirits Business in 2017, Diego Silva Prieto, export manager at brand owner Compañía Pisquera de Chile, said: “Over the past four years we have started a really strong export strategy to develop pisco in other countries.”

Mistral’s international priority markets are Argentina, despite its significant economic and political upheaval, and the US. Silva Prieto added: “Our idea was to build the pisco category from the on­-premise, by working with the most trendy bars and hotels.”

The wider Chilean pisco industry has increased its premium focus in recent years, touting its provenance and heritage. The trade is also focused on showing that pisco is suited to many more serves than its namesake Sour.

This is a similar approach to that used by the cachaça sector, whose million-­case representation struggled in 2018, with all but one brand hit by declines. Similarly, Aguardiente Antioqueño and Yeni raki suffered losses last year.

It was a mixed bag for Asian spirits shōchū and soju in 2018. Iichiko declined by 4.8%, while Muginoka reported a steep drop of 37.2%. Daigoro returned to growth after successive declines and Kanoka saw a steady 3% rise. Jinro, the largest spirit brand in the world by volume, continued its progress with a 1.6% gain.

Demonstrable in its absence from our table is baijiu – its producers consistently decline to share their volume sales.

A running theme throughout the patchwork of local spirits is a desire to reach new audiences with premium products. Brands see that a global approach is needed if they are to keep evolving and growing, particularly as their domestic consumers increasingly have their heads turned by vodka, gin, Tequila and whisky.

*The Brand Champions data is listed to one decimal place for ease of reading, but the percentage changes are based on the full data supplied. All brand data is supplied in millions of nine-­litre cases.

Local Spirits (figures: million 9l case sales)

BRAND OWNER 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 %+/-
Aguardiente
Aguardiente Antioqueño Fábrica de Alcoholes y Licores de Antioquia 4.2 2.5 3.6 3.4 3.1 -9.3
Cachaça
Cachaça 51 Companhia Müller de Bebidas 18.0 16.8 16.7 14.7 13.3 -9.3%
Pitú Pitú 10.6 10.6 10.9 10.7 10.7 0.2%
Velho Barreiro Tatuzinho 9.8 9.9 9.9 10.0 9.8 -2.0%
Ypióca Diageo 5.2 4.9 4.8 5.1 4.7 -7.9%
Pisco
Mistral Compañía Pisquera de Chile 1.1 1.2 1.2 1.3 1.4 5.5%
Raki
Yeni Diageo 3.5 3.5 3.4 3.4 3.0 -10.7%
Shōchū
Iichiko Sanwa Shurui 8.0 7.8 7.8 7.5 7.2 -4.8%
Kanoka Asahi Breweries 3.4 3.4 3.4 3.3 3.4 3.0%
Muginoka Suntory Spirits 2.1 2.0 2.0 1.6 1.0 -37.2%
Daigoro Asahi Breweries 1.7 1.5 1.3 0.9 1.0 11.1%
Soju
Jinro Hite-Jinro 70.9 73.8 74.0 76.8 78.0 1.6%

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