Each year our Growth Brands Awards recognize the top products and suppliers in the beverage alcohol business. The April issue of Beverage Dynamics magazine highlighted the fastest-growing and top-selling spirits and wine brands. Now, we honor the 2022 Growth Brands Hall of Fame entries, and Suppliers of the Year.
The Suppliers of the Year are Bacardi in spirits, and The Wine Group in wine. The two companies, which each had 11 winners in 2022, offer sizeable portfolios with diverse brands. Keep an eye out for articles on these winners in the coming weeks.
Hall of Fame brands must receive at least 15 Growth Brands Awards during the past 25 years, in any category. Entering the Hall of Fame this year is Mionetto for wine and Stoli, Malibu, Tito’s and Jack Daniel’s on the spirits side. Congratulations to all the winners!
The 2022 Growth Brands Hall of Famers
We have five new entries into our Growth Brands Hall of Fame this year. All have earned at least 15 Growth Brands Awards across any number of years.
One the wine side we congratulate Mionetto. The prosecco brand was founded in 1887, by master winemaker Francesco Mionetto, who opened the winery in Valdobbiadene, Italy, in the heart of the Prosecco wine region.
The Freixenet Mionetto brand was one of the early prosecco brands to hit the U.S.; it’s been exported here since 2000. Mionetto was instrumental in promoting the prosecco category, educating both bar/restaurant operators and consumers on what the sparkling wine is and how it’s different from others. As such, it’s helped increase prosecco sales significantly in the past 20 years.
On the spirits side, the Hall of Fame inductees are Stoli, Malibu, Tito’s and Jack Daniel’s — all of which won Established Growth Brand Awards this year.
Malibu, launched 43 years ago, is a core brand within the Pernod Ricard portfolio, and is the number-one rum-based coconut spirit in the world, says Reshma Dhati, brand director of Malibu Rum, Pernod Ricard USA. How does the brand stay strong and relevant after more than four decades?
“Malibu has evolved into a robust portfolio of innovative and versatile products, as noted by the brand’s highly successful RTD (ready-to-drink) cans,” Dhati says. The brand added two new flavors, Pineapple Bay Breeze and Watermelon Mojito, to their Cocktails in a Can line, joining Pi–a Colada and Strawberry Daiquiri.
This past April Malibu launched a global campaign titled, “Welcome to Malibu,” which Dhati says “reimagines Malibu as more than just a rum, but as a place where you step into a hyperreal world where everyone is unplugged and can unabashedly embrace the things they love.”
Established in 1866 by Jasper Newton “Jack” Daniel, the Jack Daniel Distillery in Lynchburg, TN, is the first registered distillery in the U.S. and the beating heart of the Brown-Forman portfolio, the company says. The brand has grown with superpremium and flavored line extensions in recent years, but it retains the combination of quality ingredients, control from grain to glass, and proprietary processes coupled with its innovation and expertise.
Jack Daniel’s, which recently launched its “Make It Count” campaign in conjunction with agency partner Energy BBDO, continues to innovate in the superpremium space with the launch of its Bonded Series in mid-2022. Building upon the momentum created by the recent releases of Jack Daniel’s 10-Years-Old and its Single Barrel Special Releases, the company believes these superpremium offerings will further reinforce Jack Daniel’s whiskey-making credentials.
The company also launched Jack Daniel’s ready to drink whiskey cocktails in 2020, at a time when consumer appetite for single-serve options started to grow. The line will expand nationally this year, making its three flavors of RTDs available in every state.
Stoli Vodka, formerly known as Stolichnaya, is made from wheat and distilled in Latvia at the Latvijas Balzams distillery, which has been one of the main production facilities for Stoli Vodka since 1948. The vodka, now owned by Stoli Group, is then filtered through charcoal and quartz sand and blended with well water for smoothness.
Stoli was early to the flavored vodka trend with Ohranj, which hit the U.S. market in 1986. The brand now includes 10 flavored vodkas, as well as Gold, Gluten-free and 100-proof expressions.
Stoli is always searching for new ways to engage with its consumers, says Tim Szonyi, Stoli Vodka’s global brand leader. “We’re currently reviewing brand design as a result of the move to Stoli as how we will express the brand globally, which is a fantastic opportunity to engage a new generation of consumers.”
Tito’s, now the leading vodka brand in the U.S., celebrated 25 years in April 2022. “The beauty and simplicity of this brand is that it hasn’t changed over the years,” says Frank Polley, Tito’s vice president of trade marketing. “It really can be summed up by one of our Tito-isms: It’s a filet mignon, at a pot roast price — a great-tasting and quality vodka at an affordable price.”
The brand’s focus for this year is honoring its history while celebrating the quarter-century milestone. Limited time-only packaging on 1-liter and 750-ml. bottles highlights its 25th with a few interesting facts, a 25th Anniversary logo, “and a bit of the story that got us here,” Polley says. “A great way to kick off the next 25 years!”
Melissa Dowling is editor of Cheers magazine, our on-premise sister publication. Contact her at email@example.com, and read her recent piece, Why Nonalcoholic Drinks Are On The Rise.