Beams Skinnygirl brand has seen sales fall this year

Beam's Skinnygirl brand has seen sales fall this year

Beam Inc's CEO has admitted to a “soft” year for Skinnygirl but expects the low-calorie brand to bounce back in the long-term.

In Beam's year-to-date results, released yesterday, Skinnygirl posted a 29% sales drop, following on from a 23% decline in H1. Beam blamed bad weather in the first quarter and tough comparisons from last year following its acquisition from founder Bethenny Frankel in 2011.

In a call with analysts yesterday (31 October), Beam CEO Matt Shattock said the company still has faith in Skinnygirl's future.

“Certainly, we've seen a very soft category this year,” Shattock said.

“But calorie-controlled cocktailing for women is an important concept and one that's actually now got quite a loyal band of quite passionate advocates for this brand. In the long term, we still think it's a good prospect and it's got good growth potential.”

Shattock said the brand, which accounts for around 2% of Beam sales, is “broadening its shoulders” as it extends from cocktail RTDs to wines and vodkas.

In September, Skinnygirl extended its range of wines with the launch of four new varietals.

Shattock denied that US spirits growth has slowed throughout the year, saying the category has “come back hard” after a Q2 dip. He blamed the dip on a weak ready-to-serve sector in the US and said he expects the overall US category to average 3-4% growth.

He added: “The area that also has been doing well is Tequila, which has been accelerating to about a mid single-digit rate.”