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Speciality Spirits Brand Champion 2019: Jägermeister

German brand Jägermeister has innovated in recent years
German brand Jägermeister has innovated in recent years

If last year’s Speciality Spirits Brand Champions analysis demonstrated drinkers’ desire for low-­abv serves, this year saw imbibers turn their attention to ready-­to­-drink (RTD) bottlings.

A strong year for Brown-­Forman­-owned New Mix saw it reach 6.9m nine-­litre cases in 2018, making it the biggest­-selling RTD in this year’s report. Meanwhile, products including Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktail and Cachaça 51 Ice posted strong double-­digit growth, climbing to 1.2m and 1.4m nine-­litre cases respectively.

Continued strong growth was also seen by Gruppo Campari-­owned Aperol, whose sales rose by 22.5% to reach 4.9m nine-­litre cases. But this growth wasn’t enough to outshine Jägermeister, which wears this year’s Speciality Spirits Brand Champion crown.

After continued year­-on-­year growth, Jägermeister saw its sales rise to 7.5m nine­-litre cases in 2018 – surpassing its 2013 high of 7.2m. “Our herbal liqueur Jägermeister stands as a high-­quality product for itself, and this hasn’t changed from day one,” says Wolfgang Moeller, global chief marketing officer for brand owner Mast­-Jägermeister.

Moeller says the brand’s success has come because it was “always bold enough to explore its own ways in marketing”, and adds that positioning the bitter as a “versatile, unpretentious drink” has been key in appealing to its target urban consumers. The German brand has also innovated in recent years, launching its Coolpack format to reinforce its signature ice-­cold serve and developing the super­-premium Manifest expression in 2017. Moeller says the aim with Manifest was to ensure that “everyone who sips a Manifest shot will never touch a Bourbon or Irish whiskey again”.

With new products in its roster and its sight set on the UK, the US and Germany, Jägermeister will be aiming for continued growth throughout 2019, and Moeller says travel retail is one area the brand hopes to recruit new consumers. “Global travel retail has become very important internationally during the last years for Jägermeister,” he adds. “It is an ideal platform for brand building and showcasing Jägermeister to a broad international consumer group.”

Elsewhere in the Speciality Spirits category, Bacardi­-owned Martini vermouth retained its position as the field’s top seller, despite continued year­-on-­year declines to 8.6m nine­-litre­-cases.

This year’s report also saw a drop in sales for Fernet­-Branca (9.1%) and Pernod Ricard-­owned Ramazzotti (12.8%), which posted sales of 4.8m and 1m nine-­litre cases respectively.

*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.

Speciality Spirits (figures: million 9l case sales)

BRAND OWNER 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 %+/-
Ricard Pernod Ricard 4.8 4.8 4.6 4.6 4.7 2.0%
Jägermeister Mast-Jägermeister 6.8 6.9 7.1 7.2 7.5 4.2%
Aperol Gruppo Campari 2.7 3.0 3.4 4.0 4.9 22.5%
Fernet-Branca Fratelli Branca 5.2 5.3 5.1 5.3 4.8 -9.1%
Campari Gruppo Campari 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.3 -3.5%
Ramazzotti Pernod Ricard 1.2 1.3 1.2 1.2 1.0 -12.8%
Martini Bacardi 9.9 9.4 8.9 8.7 8.6 -1.4%
New Mix Brown-Forman 5.3 5.7 6.1 6.4 6.9 7.5%
Jack Daniel’s & Cola Brown-Forman 4.7 4.6 4.9 5.0 5.2 4.6%
Campari Soda Gruppo Campari 1.7 1.7 1.6 1.5 1.5 -3.3%
Cachaça 51 Ice Companhia Müller de Bebidas 1.5 1.3 1.1 1.3 1.4 10.0%
Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktail Brown-Forman 0.8 1.0 1.0 1.1 1.2 10.1%

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