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Speciality Spirits Brand Champion 2020: Jägermeister

Jägermeister’s volumes soared by an additional one million nine‐litre cases in 2019

“Our goal for 2019 is to continue our strong growth from the past year and keep driving our sales and expanding our market presence,” said Michael Volke, CEO of Mast‐Jägermeister, when the group’s 2018 full‐year sales were released in April last year. “But we are also facing a global economy that is showing signs of a downturn. With the underlying factors in mind, we are currently expecting a moderate increase in sales.”

Take a look at the volume growth of the group’s flagship herbal bitter in 2019, however, and you’ll see it has been anything but modest.

Following year‐on‐year growth since 2014, Speciality Spirits Brand Champion 2020 Jägermeister’s volumes soared by an additional one million nine‐litre cases in 2019 – a 13.3% increase compared with 2018. The growth came from a strong starting point as well, rising to 8.5m cases last year.

Several product launches helped to boost the brand’s popularity in 2019, including ‘hot and spicy’ Jägermeister Scharf and Jägermeister Cold Brew Coffee. The latter was supported by a £2.5m (US$3m) campaign, called New Mix New Beat, designed to reinforce the brand’s “shot positioning” and leverage its credentials in music.

“We understand that new, unique taste experiences are highly relevant for our target group,” says Volke. “For that reason, it is one aspect of our portfolio strategy, but we will not enter the ‘flavour game’, flooding the shelves with flavour variants. Selective additions that are truly Jägermeister remain potential opportunities going forward, provided it supports our mother brand. The uncompromised core of every product under every brand is the original complex Jägermeister recipe and its complex and well‐balanced flavour profile.”

Meanwhile, ready‐to‐drink (RTD) million‐case sellers are on fire. According to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, RTDs were the fastest‐growing alcohol category in 2019, up by 19.6% in volume and 18.8% in value.

Hard seltzers in particular have taken the US by storm, and grew by more than 200% in volume last year. A leading hard seltzer brand, White Claw, is a case in point. The brand started at 0.4m cases in 2016, but grew volumes to 27.5m in 2019 – a 298% increase on the previous year (6.9m cases). However, IWSR analysts are not convinced the category’s success will translate in quite the same way overseas.

*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 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 %+/-
Ricard Pernod Ricard 4.8 4.6 4.6 4.7 4.3 -8.2%
Jägermeister Mast‐Jägermeister 6.9 7.1 7.2 7.5 8.5 13.3%
Aperol Campari Group 3.0 3.4 4.0 4.9 5.8 18.8%
Fernet‐Branca Fratelli Branca 5.3 5.1 5.3 4.8 4.6 -4.2%
Campari Campari Group 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.3 3.4 3.0%
Ramazzotti Pernod Ricard 1.3 1.2 1.2 1.0 1.1 8.8%
Martini Bacardi 9.4 8.9 8.7 8.6 8.8 2.3%
White Claw Mark Anthony Brands N/A 0.4 2.1 6.9 27.5 298.0%
Jack Daniel’s & Cola Brown‐Forman 4.6 4.9 5.0 5.2 7.9 51.5%
New Mix Brown‐Forman 5.7 6.1 6.4 6.9 6.5 -6.4%
Campari Soda Campari Group 1.7 1.6 1.5 1.5 1.5 0.0%
Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktail Brown‐Forman 1.0 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.4 14.8%

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