The rise of Fireball
Say what you will about the stuff, the growth of Fireball over the past few years has been nigh on astronomical.
Given the huge expansion of the flavored whiskey sector within the spirits business, it’s no surprise that the bigger players in the American Whiskey business would have their ears perked. Beam’s Red Stag, Wild Turkey Honey, and Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey have all seen their fair share of market growth over the last handful of years, and now we find the announcement that Jack will begin test-marketing their own fire-brand starting this coming April: Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire.
So what exactly happened?
The majority of pieces written on the topic of Fireball’s growth in the last couple of years all point fingers at a few specific tactics, one being a minimal ‘traditional marketing’ spend, and the other(s) being use of social media and direct outreach to bartenders to facilitate sales. This is a social/shot liquor, as noted in this Huffington Post piece from last July –
Louisiana-based Sazerac Co. has seen sales of its Fireball Cinnamon Whisky nearly triple since 2012 – from .8 percent to 2.3 percent of the market for liquors sold at bars and restaurants – according to an analysis by industry research firm Restaurant Sciences. Demand for Fireball has made the liqueur among the most popular at bars and restaurants where it is offered, according to Restaurant Sciences, which surveyed 400 such establishments. The firm found Fireball had gone from making up a sometimes-negligible percentage of sales in 2011 to constituting 6.7 to 6.8 percent of all tabs this year.
Who do you think will win the battle?
The huge amount of people out there already ‘Slaying The Dragon’ with the Sazerac Company’s Canadian Whisky-based Fireball…
– or –
The American Whiskey monolith that is Jack Daniel’s, alongside their decades upon decades of existing brand loyalty, and deep, deep pockets?
Image: Business Insider