The infographics below are derived from data contained in
BMC's DrinkTell™ Database with Market Forecasts


While trade sources report that cream liqueurs (as a collective category) were off marginally last year, the drumbeat of enthusiasm from both aspiring entrepreneurs and veteran marketers is gaining volume from PR sources. To some degree the quest for breakthroughs in the category has been masked by the prejudiced perception that pigeonholed cream liqueurs as somehow declasse—fallen to the unenviable ranks of a sweet dram for sweet old grannies. To industry Mandarins that did not look like a growth market.

Therein, of course, lay a classic open door to opportunity. As everyone knows, RumChata ran right through it. That success in itself was enough to spawn an industry of would be's and wanna be's. Now every time Baileys twitches, someone else launches a new cream liqueur. According to one analysis, there's even a "craft" cream market featuring brands like Orphan Girl, Kringle Cream and Boston Cream Liqueur. (Of course there is also a YouTube video on how to make your own Tequila Rose. Self-reliance is still thriving.)

But the analyst's question is do real numbers back up the hype? Or are the Mandarins right and only a significant disrupter is likely to make a breakthrough. We looked for hints to an answer in BMC's DrinkTell™ database.

We quickly found that at the top of the category it's definitely not a growth market except, of course, for that anomaly RumChata.

Looking beyond the top tier, we charted the next tier of domestic and imported brands. Among the domestics Ryan's alone showed consistent volume growth over the past five years. (Cask & Cream is in both our first two charts. In the last five years its volume has fallen that much.) What about imported brands? Among the next tier of imports, only Brady's made year after year U.S. consumption gains.

Many top quality, consumer favorites didn't make our charts because their consumption volumes are more modest than those of the brands we decided to cite here. That doesn't mean they're not money makers for the brand owners and marketers. Or that another RumChata isn't lurking around the corner. There are many reasons for launching a new brand. But we do think we have a verdict on whether or not we are in fact entering a Golden Age of cream liqueurs— as we think some marketers and brand managers would have us believe.

For questions about this column or to look at our DrinkTell™ database yourself just give us a call. To order a BMC U.S. Wine, Beer, or Spirits Guide, 2017 edition, click below.

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