Capitalizing on the Growing Ethnic Trend

FILED JANUARY 21, 2014

Dear Client:

It's not enough anymore to market products to the general US consumer. The US is rapidly becoming more ethnically diverse by the minute. In fact, USAToday recently reported that white consumers, which currently make up 64% of the population, could become the minority by 2050.

Meanwhile, Hispanic buying power has hit $1.4 trillion dollars and is growing at a rate of 8.2%. African Americans are still the largest racial minority group in America, with a projected buying power of $1.1 trillion by 2015. And then Asian consumers are predicted to grow nearly 32% to become 5.5% of the US population by 2018.

In what is certainly a result of these demographic trends, Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC) has deemed "ethnic" as the largest flavor trend, said company mixologist Sly Cosmopoulos at the recent San Antonio Cocktail Conference.

WHAT THEY'RE DRINKING: What are the drinking habits of these important and growing segments of the population? Sly presented a Mintel survey of adults from April 2010 to June 2011 who were asked, "Do you drink any of the following types of spirits?"

The survey showed African Americans were most likely to drink rum (23%), cognac (21%) and tequila (20%), and least likely to have ordered Irish whiskey (2%), blended whiskey or rye (5%) or Scotch whisky (7%).

Hispanic consumers were most likely to drink tequila (27%), vodka (17%), and rum (16%), and least likely to drink whiskey or rye (2%), Irish whiskey (3%%), malt liquor, gin or Canadian whisky (5%).

Asian consumers were most likely to drink vodka (24%), rum (20%) or tequila (17%), and least likely to drink blended whiskey or rye (3%), Irish whiskey (4%) or Canadian whisky (5%).

Other notable trends include: (1) white consumers were significantly more likely to drink cordials/liqueurs and bourbon than the other consumer segments; (2) African American consumers were significantly more likely to drink gin, cognac, malt liquor and brandy; and (3) Hispanic consumers were significantly more likely to drink tequila and significantly less likely to drink vodka.

WHERE THEY'RE DRINKING: RNDC also tracked where these consumers are drinking. They found that Asian consumers are more likely than average to drink wine at parties, for health and in order to impress others. "This suggests that this group would be attracted to quality products that have a high-style design, suitable for sharing with others."

Hispanics are more likely than any other race or ethnic group to drink alcohol at home and less likely to enjoy drinks in a restaurant with business associates. Beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage for Hispanics to enjoy at home (71%), followed by wine and spirits (66%) and then flavored alcoholic beverages (59%). Meanwhile, Black non-Hispanics are the least likely to drink at home.

These trends indicate that there's no tried-and-true strategy for reaching the US consumer anymore, and that's a good thing for wine and spirits companies. There are more opportunities these days to reach new consumers, which is partly the reason why we're dipping more into the beer industry's consumer space. We'd go so far as to say it's anybody's market, and spirits has done an excellent job in leading the charge.

REMY COINTREAU SLUMPS IN THIRD QUARTER

As the company predicted in its first half results, Remy Cointreau's second half has not started off well. Although cfo Luca Marotta said the US recorded "genuine growth," as a whole, talks continued to center around declining sales in China during the company's third quarter earnings call today.

In the third quarter ended December 31 US sales "were mathematically down because of technical factors," said Luca. For example, Remy Martin V, which launched last year at this time, did not immediately get into the pipeline. Cointreau continued to grow over the nine months, as did the Partner Brands division, which includes Edrington's Macallan, Famous Grouse and Cutty Sark Scotch whisky brands among others.

You may recall, Remy Cointreau is also in the process of finding a new chief executive after Frederic Pflanz resigned the position earlier this month (see WSD 01-02-2014). The Board chairman Francois Heriard Dubreuil has assumed chief responsibilities in the interim.

Faced with a pretty complex situation, Remy Cointreau plans to stay the course. "We stay on track and we will do everything to help China to get out of this temporary impasse and we will improve performance of other regions and countries in the categories outside of cognac to contribute to the limitation of negative impacts on our income statement," said Luca.

WSD BRIEFS:

SUNTORY DENIES WHYTE AND MACKAY BID. Yesterday, it was widely reported that Suntory Holdings had placed a formal bid just shy of $1 billion to buy the Whyte & Mackay business from Diageo. Today, a spokeswoman for the company has denied they are in talks to acquire the Scotch whisky business, reports Bloomberg.

TEXAS-BASED DEEP EDDY VODKA has added a cranberry infused addition to the portfolio. Deep Eddy Cranberry Vodka will be available for sale beginning in February in: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Texas, Rhode Island, Washington State, Washington D.C. More states will be added throughout the year.

LUCAS BOLS is bringing its foam innovation to the US this spring. Bols Foam liqueur is created by a pump on top of the bottle and designed to top off cocktails. It has already launched in select markets in Europe, but Wirtz Beverage Minnesota has posted a picture of the product on Twitter with the caption "coming soon to Minnesota."

IN LIGHT OF RECENT IRISH WHISKEY TRENDS, M.S. Walker is debuting a line of Irish whiskey infusions called Kennedy Irish. Kennedy Irish is made in West Cork, Ireland and has already been released overseas. It will initially include the original limed, honeyed spiced and chillied flavors. They will retail for approximately $22 a 750 ml.

M.S. WALKER'S SCREECH RUM is launching a new label, as well as two new extensions: Screech Honey Rum and Screech Spiced Rum. The new additions will retail for approximately $20 a 750 ml - $1 more than the Screech Rum 80.

MARK TARLOV, FOUNDER OF EVENING LAND, and importer Old Bridge Cellars are launching the Maison L'Envoye, a joint venture with a focus on pinot noir from Burgandy and Oregon's Willamette Valley. The Maison L'Envoye range includes the range includes a Bourgogne Blanc (srp $20), Bourgogne Rouge ( srp $25), Morgon Cote du Py ( srp $20) and Savigny-les-Beaune 'Les Marconnets' 1'er Cru ( srp $42), as well as Two Messengers pinot noir (srp $30) and The Attaché pinot noir (srp $40).

Until tomorrow, Emily

"Destiny has two ways of crushing us - by refusing our wishes and by fulfilling them."
- Henri Frederic Amiel

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