Created in 2015, the Growth Brands Hall of Fame honors sustained growth in the beverage alcohol industry.
Wine and spirit brands inducted into the Hall of Fame must have won at least 15 Growth Brands Awards, which have been presented annually since 1997.
This year, two spirits qualified for that honor by winning their 15th award. Check out the 2018 Growth Brands for both wine and spirits., as well as the 2016 and 2017 HOF classes.
Winners were honored at the Growth Brands Awards reception at the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers Convention in Las Vegas in April. The following profiles highlight what makes these two brands stand out against the competition. They are the best of the best, and we congratulate them on their accomplishment.
2017 sales: 717,000 nine-liter case
Distilled at the Distiladora Gonzalez Gonzalez in Jalisco since 1960, Juarez has grown to become one of the best-selling tequilas in the U.S., with a range that includes Gold, Silver and Triple Sec. The brand is crafted with agave grown and harvested in Los Altos, without using pesticides, then distilled in pot stills.
“The tequila segment has been booming and Juarez has benefited from that growth,” says Donn Lux, Chairman and CEO of parent company Luxco. “We’ve also consistently been able to supply our product through agave shortages, recessions and growth periods, because we focus on the quality of the product and loyalty to our trade partners. We treat both like family and do whatever it takes to meet their high standards.”
Juarez has been a perennial Growth Brands winner for more than a decade in the Established Growth category, which honors brands selling more than 400,000 cases that continue to grow year-after-year.
“Juarez is a high-volume brand within our portfolio and it’s a critical brand for Luxco,” Lux says. “It’s within a segment that we’re focused on and actively investing in for growth. Without Juarez, we wouldn’t have been able to invest in our new tequila distillery, where we’ll product our 100% agave tequilas.”
The brand is known for its strength on-premise for use in house margaritas, as well as its consistency off-premise as a value product. Lux says the company will continue investing in the quality and craftsmanship that goes into making Juarez, as well as promotions to continue driving growth. “As for innovation,” he adds, “we’re always looking for ways to expand the brand and get it into new consumer’s hands.”
Jameson Irish Whiskey
Producer: Pernod Ricard USA
2017 sales: 3,182,000 nine-liter cases
John Jameson set up his first distillery on Bow Street in Dublin in 1780, creating a triple-distilled whiskey that is now the best-selling Irish Whiskey in the world. The brand is made using Irish water, plus malted and unmalted barley. The malts are dried in closed kilns, differentiating it from Scotch, which is dried over open peat fires. The whiskey is then distilled in copper pot stills and matured in bourbon-seasoned American oak barrels and sherry-seasoned Spanish casks.
“Integrity and consistency in the way Jameson behaves as a brand is an important part of how we sustain our position as an industry leader,” says VP of Marketing Paul Di Vito. “Jameson Caskmates Drinking Buddies, for instance, is a hyper-local program where we partnered with local breweries, sharing casks so the brewereies could create their own unique beers. These local and authentic initiatives encapsulate what Jameson stands for.
Over the years, the Jameson portfolio has expanded and now includes six expressions: the original, Black Barrel, 12-year-old, Gold Reserve, 18-year-old and Rarest Vintage Reserve.
“Our goal is to provide our valued consumers with exploration and premiumization in the category, while staying true to our authentic spirit, commitment to quality, hard work and dedication,” Di Vito says. “Jameson is arguably the flagship for Irish Whiskey with its approachable style and taste. We’ve opened the door for many U.S. consumers, and our extensive portfolio occupies a fair share of shelf space. The brand remains healthy and consistently strong with key players like Jameson Original, the success of Black Barrel, Caskmates and Jameson IPA.
Last fall, Jameson introduced its second expression in The Whiskey Makers Series, The Blender’s Dog.
The series consists of crafted expressions that pay homage to the people behind the brand. In December, Caskmates IPA was released as an extension of the Caskmates series that came about through a partnership with an Irish brewery. And this summer, Jameson Bow Street 18 Years Cask Strength will launch in the U.S. as the first spirit matured at the site of the original distillery in nearly 50 years.
“Bottled at a cask strength of about 55%, this is the first widely available release of a cask strength whiskey from Jameson, and it represents the liquid pinnacle in our range,” Di Vito says.