Close Menu
Top 10

Speciality Spirits Brand Champion 2022: Aperol

Aperol Campari Group
Aperol was the star performer in Campari’s first quarter

While 2020 witnessed a refreshed interest in bitters through at-home cocktail crafting during lockdowns, 2021 saw speciality spirits burst back to life in the on-trade.

According to Euromonitor International, sales of bitters rose by 10.9% last year, from 46.3 million in 2020 cases to 51.4m.

This year’s Brand Champion, Aperol, followed this growth trajectory with a sales jump of 31.9%, which it credits to the recruitment of new consumers in the on-premise and sustained demand for home consumption.

The Campari Group-owned brand registered double-digit growth in its core markets, including Italy, the US, France and the UK, while newer markets such as China and Mexico soared by triple digits.

During the winter, its performance was “boosted by deseasonalisation activities”, which aimed to adjust the image of the brand’s flagship Aperol Spritz from a typical summer serve to a winter warmer drink.

The brand’s strategy model follows three main stages, according to Julka Villa, group head of marketing. The first stage involves promoting the drink in the spring and summer period, elevating the Aperol Spritz as “the perfect serve”.

“At the second stage, we set out to deseasonalise the brand,” Villa continues. As part of this phase, Aperol’s activations during the winter months include taking over ski resorts. “And finally, we go into new consumption moments by introducing Aperol Spritz with food at lunch or dinner,” Villa explains.

“After almost two decades of applying this formula we can really say, and the results show, that Aperol Spritz has become a global phenomenon, yet there is still huge opportunity for further growth.” The brand aims to maintain its gains through the continuation of this model in the year ahead.

Across the rest of the speciality spirits, all brands recorded double-digit gains, except for anis brand Ricard, which still rose by 6.6%.

Jägermeister saw sales soar by a quarter, having jumped from 7m to 8.7m cases.

Meanwhile, Bacardi’s Martini vermouth grew by 13.1% to 9.7m, adding 1m cases since 2019. Aperol stablemate Campari climbed by 24.2% to 3.9m.

Figures: million 9l-case sales
Brand Owner 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 %+/-
Ricard Pernod Ricard 4.6 4.7 4.3 4.1 4.3 6.6%
Jägermeister Mast‐Jägermeister 7.2 7.5 8.5 7.0 8.7 25.0%
Aperol Campari Group 4.0 4.9 5.8 5.4 7.1 31.9%
Campari Campari Group 3.4 3.3 3.4 3.1 3.9 24.2%
Orijin Bitters Diageo 1.2 1.3 1.6 1.9 2.1 11.3%
Ramazzotti Pernod Ricard 1.2 1.0 1.1 1.1 1.3 13.5%
Lillet Pernod Ricard N/A N/A N/A 0.9 1.0 16.1%
Martini Bacardi 8.7 8.6 8.8 8.5 9.7 13.1%

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No