Aperol & Wild Turkey lead double-digit Campari growth in Australia
Australia has emerged as one of Campari's leading markets in the company's full-year 2018 results.
Davide Campari-Milano saw total sales of €1.71 billion, representing organic growth of +5.3%, but a reported decline of -2.4%.
Emerging markets weakness and higher prices for agave put a brake on Campari’s sales toward the end of an otherwise strong year.
Aussie sales rose to €88.3 million, with 10.5% growth. Highlights included Aperol Spritz sales surging 38.8%, Wild Turkey - boosted by the introduction of the new premium extension Wild Turkey Longbranch - up 13% and Wild Turkey RTDs up 5.6%.
CEO Bob Kunze-Concewitz said: "Australia had a very strong year. Wild Turkey Bourbon and RTD represent about two thirds of our sales in that market. The Wild Turkey RTD was up 5.6%, clearly outperforming the Australian RTD market, particularly the bourbon one, where we're going twice as fast and doing the right things."
SKYY vodka was a surprise double-digit performer in Australia, bucking a global 8% decline due to continued strong competition in the United States.
Overall, Kunze-Concewitz said Campari "practically outperformed in every single category in the marketplace" in Australia.
"Wild Turkey Bourbon gave us a lot of satisfaction as the introduction of the new premium extension Longbranch was very well received by the market, and we're continuing to build the Espolòn, GlenGrant, SKYY and Campari brands," he said. "Aperol again has had a fantastic year in Australia."
The next step in the Aperol boom
Kunze-Concewitz was buoyant about the continued upward trajectory of Aperol worldwide.
Globally, the apertif was up 28%, with the US now the third biggest market in value terms of the brand, with sales up close to 74%.
Kunze-Concewitz said he was excited to see Aperol Spritz on Drinks International's Top 10 cocktails list for the first time in 2018, up three places from the previous year.
"We feel pretty good about Aperol Spritz and its momentum. I mean, frankly, the growth model is really validating itself in all of the markets," he said. "And the first stage, it's really about penetration and the spring summer, then we de-seasonalise it. And finally, we move into other usage occasions. I mean, when you see Italy growing by 15% in its 15th year, I mean, that's a clear testimony to the legs of this brand. And the key reason for that is that the source of business for Aperol and the Aperol Spritz isn't other spirits. It's a huge source of business, which is mostly beer, and then some wine and then some sparkling wine.
He felt Asia was poised to be a source of strong growth market.
"We're seeing the brand also attracting attention in key Asian cities, so we're looking forward to developing the future growth of the brand because, frankly, it's really nowhere there at this stage, except for a few key bars and key hotels," he said. "And we know how big a beer market it is. At the same time, we're seeing a lot of Asian tourists, and particularly Chinese drinking a lot of Aperol Spritzes in Italy. So we're starting to build that."