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RTD Brand Champion 2022: Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails

The Brand Champions report is presenting a dedicated section for the ready-to-drink (RTD) category for a second year, given its prominence in the spirits industry.

From 2020 to 2021, RTDs have seen volume sales rise by 11.6% globally, from 686.6 million to 766.3m cases.

Taking the title of RTD Brand Champion is Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails, which grew by nearly a third in 2021, following steady year-on-year growth. The range posted a sales jump from 2.3m cases in 2020 to 2.9m cases last year.

Discussing the key drivers for the Brown-Forman-owned brand’s positive performance, Dallas Cheatham, Jack Daniel’s RTD director, explains “expanded distribution”, primarily in the grocery channel, is to credit, “due in part to our partnership with the Pabst Brewing Company”.

The on-the-go cocktail range is available across the US, “but Texas and Florida stand out as the two largest markets” due to the “size of population” in these areas, Cheatham notes. “We will continue to look to increase our distribution in those markets and others as we grow this important Jack Daniel’s brand,” she adds.

The brand has seen its Downhome Punch and Southern Peach flavours become the most popular lately, and Cheatham remains optimistic that demand for the variety packs will continue to grow. In 2020, Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails made a good showing too, posting a year-on-year sales increase of 9.4%.

Looking ahead, the brand aims to lead with innovation to maintain its strong sales, while expanding distribution across the States and increasing consumer awareness “through various channels”, according to Cheatham.

Racking up the most sales in 2021 was last year’s Supreme Brand Champion, Mark Anthony Brands’ White Claw hard seltzer. The alcoholic sparkling water has been commended for its mammoth growth in past years, which slowed to an 11.1% volume increase in 2021 to hit 65m cases.

Meanwhile, Campari Soda showed a strong recovery, surpassing its pre-pandemic figures to hit 1.6m cases last year after dropping to 1.2m in 2020.

Suntory Spirits’ -196oC Strong Zero clocked a 9.4% decline in 2021, its first sales drop in several years, and Brown-Forman’s Tequila-based New Mix brand also experienced a dip in sales, down by 8.5%.

Figures: million 9l-case sales
Brand Owner 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 %+/-
White Claw Mark Anthony Brands 1.7 5.9 24.4 58.5 65.0 11.1%
‐196°C Strong Zero Suntory Spirits 20.8 23.6 25.5 27.3 24.8 -9.4%
Jack Daniel’s RTDs (excluding Cola and Country Cocktails) Brown‐Forman 8.2 8.7 9.2 11.5 13.1 13.7%
New Mix Brown‐Forman 6.4 6.9 6.5 8.0 7.4 -8.5%
Jack Daniel’s & Cola Brown‐Forman 5.1 5.4 5.4 6.3 6.9 11.0%
Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails Brown‐Forman 1.7 1.9 2.1 2.3 2.9 29.8%
Campari Soda Campari Group 1.5 1.5 1.5 1.2 1.6 33.3%

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