Why should vodka have all the fun?
Flavored vodkashave been popular for years, but now flavored whiskies are gaining ground. In the first quarter of this year, flavored whiskies were the fastest-growing spirits type in the U.S., rising 154.8 percent in Nielsen channels, according to Shanken News Daily.
The trend also helped Jim Beam, who has gotten a boost from its Red Stag brand. Beam posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday.
In interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” Beam President and CEO Matt Shattock, said there is a strong flavor trend across many categories in the food and beverage business right now, and he credits this trend for some of the strength in the company’s bourbon sales.
Beam’s Red Stag is infused with black cherry flavor. The company is now extending this franchise with two new flavors, Honey Tea and Spiced.
Flavored whiskies aren’t as much of a leap when one considers that many times bourbon is served in Manhattan and Old Fashioned cocktails, Shattock explained.
The Red Stag brand is also drawing more women into the bourbon category, he said. Although women account for one third of the bourbon market, about half of those drinking Red Stag are women. Women also are drinking smaller-batch bourbons such as Beam’s Basil Hayden brand, he said.
Beam has also had success with its Skinnygirl line of pre-mixed cocktails. New products are on tap for this brand this year, including Skinnygirl Pina Colada as well as Skinnygirl, the Wine Collection, and Skinnygirl Vodka.