Nielsen Data: Strong Spirits Momentum Continues

October 5, 2011
Morgan Stanley
Key takeaways from the spirits scanner data for the 4-week period ended 9/17: (1) Strong y-o-y spirits growth continues at 6.4% (2-year avg. of 4.7%), although slightly below the prior 12-week trend of 7.3%. (2) Bourbon growth remains strong at 8.2% (+6.2% on a 2-yr. avg. basis), primarily driven by innovation. (3) All of the US spirits companies in our coverage universe posted strong results, growing at a high single-digit to low double-digit rates and outpacing industry growth.

Key Industry Trends: Total spirits sales for the 4-week period ended 9/17 were robust, up 6.4% y-o-y (+4.7% on a 2-yr avg. basis), driven by +5.7% volume and modest +0.7% pricing. This was slightly lower than the prior 12-week trend of 7.3%. Category strengths in Prepared Cocktails (+35.4%), Bourbon (+8.2%), Cordials (+7.7%) and Vodka (+6.3%), were partially offset by weakness in Brandy/Cognac (-1.4%) and Domestic Blended Whiskey (-0.3%).