Nielsen xAOC + C: Distilled Spirits Update
November 15, 2022
The Wedbush View.
In the most recent 4-week period ended 11/5/22 in Nielsen xAOC (food, drug, mass, and grocery) + C (convenience), total distilled spirits YoY dollar sales growth of 5.1% decelerated by 190 bps relative to the prior year 4-week period (+6.9%).
Dollar sales growth remains mixed across individual distilled spirit types, though we would highlight that RTD cocktails and tequila continue to outperform.
Bourbon underperformed the category though we do not believe these scanner results are overly indicative of actual performance as category demand and reported results for leading bourbon-exposed companies including BFB and MGPI have been strong.
By major manufacturer, Sazerac continues to gain share of the overall category given its outsized exposure to premium whiskey.
Among the companies under our coverage, BFB lost 10 bps of dollar share for the month, while MGPI's branded spirits portfolio (Luxco) declined low-single digits which is broadly in line with the performance seen in the prior month, which was also below the actual results the company reported on its most recent 3Q22 earnings print.
While currently underperforming the category, we would note that higher levels of investment spend are slated for the remainder of the year, which we would expect to show in the form of better topline performance over time.