Customers & Consumers

Canadian
Whisky

Having an exceptional Canadian whisky portfolio, and using it as a platform for revitalizing connections and spreading cheer, has been our recipe for drawing closer ties with consumers over the last several years.

J.P. Wiser’s Canadian whisky

The J.P. Wiser’s message of friendship and human connection became all the more important in 2020 and helped propel our flagship brand to another year of strong growth. Excluding Special Blend, retail volumes of J.P. Wiser’s grew 5% and retail value was up 7% compared to 2019, outpacing the Canadian whisky category on both counts.

Our efforts over the past three years to rejuvenate the brand and make it more relevant to today’s consumers are paying off — we’re seeing market share gains and attracting slightly younger and more female drinkers. Among 2020 initiatives, we changed the bottle shape and label to reinforce premium positioning and improve shelf impact, and added a 375mL format for J.P. Wiser’s Deluxe, which made it a good option for gifting occasions.

With the launch of our e-commerce service, we were able to sell and deliver J.P. Wiser’s direct to consumers confined at home during the pandemic.

An engaging evolution of J.P. Wiser’s Hold It High communication campaign, the Drinks Soon? campaign launched in the fall of 2019 encouraged people to actually take time to meet with friends instead of just saying they would. When people could no longer do so due to the pandemic, the brand team partnered with The GenWell Project to spread #CheersAcrossCanada across social media platforms.

Bolstering Corby’s reputation as Canada’s premier crafter of fine whisky, J.P. Wiser’s Canadian whiskies won several notable awards at the 2020 World Whiskies Awards:

  • J.P. Wiser's 23-Year-Old Cask Strength Blend was awarded Best Canadian Blended Limited Release Whisky
  • J.P. Wiser's 18-Year-Old was awarded Best Canadian Corn Whisky
  • J.P. Wiser’s Alumni Whisky Series: Darryl Sittler was awarded World's Best Canadian Blended Whisky
J.P. Wiser’s Canadian Whisky
856k 9L cases shipped
(includes Special Blend by Wiser’s and export)
+4% compared to fiscal 2019

Craft whiskies

With consumers turning to big brands they know and trust, our super-premium craft whisky range lost sales momentum in fiscal 2020, declining 10% in retail volume and 8% in retail value. At the same time, brands like Pike Creek, Lot No. 40 and Gooderham & Worts continued to garner critical industry recognition and are well positioned for future success.

Lot No. 40 made its debut in Drinks International Annual Brands Report at No. 5 in the World Whiskies Best Selling Brands category — a remarkable achievement for a Canadian rye that only a select few in Canada knew about six years ago. Lot No. 40 Cask Strength: Third Edition won World’s Best Canadian Rye Whisky at the 2020 World Whiskies Awards, while Pike Creek 21-Year-Old Oloroso Cask Finish won Whisky of the Year at the 2020 Canadian Whisky Awards.

Always looking to innovate and collaborate, we partnered with on-premise customers to create DIY cocktail kits that included Lot No. 40 and other Corby brands.

To support export sales, Lot No. 40 underwent a packaging redesign to highlight its unique product attributes and give it a look of premium whisky “with craft roots”.