Customers & Consumers

Owned
Spirits

Through our made-in-Canada brands, we join Canadians in appreciating all that’s great about our country and in working together to make it even better.

Ungava Spirits brands

Gin’s popularity continued unabated in fiscal 2020 and Corby’s Ungava gin was among the top performers. The brand grew 19% in retail volume and 20% in retail value in the increasingly competitive Canadian gin category.

One of our priority brands, Ungava gin ticks all the right boxes: premium quality, highly differentiated, local provenance and wide appeal among millennials. From its base in Québec, we’ve been rolling Ungava gin out nationally, with a strong emphasis on creating opportunities for people to taste and discover our super-premium product.

Ungava gin featured prominently at the 2019 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, where Corby was the Official Spirit & Wine Partner and we showcased our full brand portfolio.

Cabot Trail (Coureur des Bois in Québec) has become another dynamic brand for Corby, benefiting from increased consumer interest in coffee and cream liqueurs during the COVID-19 lockdown. To connect with consumers during this time, the Ungava Spirits team produced a series of videos posted to the Coureur des Bois Facebook page, in which brand ambassador Gizmo Sirois shares simple cocktails made with ingredients commonly found in your fridge. Retail volume of Cabot Trail/Coureur des Bois grew 24% and retail value rose by 26% compared to fiscal 2019.

Ungava Spirits Brands
142k 9L cases shipped
(all Ungava Spirits brands including export)
+12% compared to fiscal 2019

Lamb’s rum

Lamb’s rum continued to be negatively impacted by shifting consumer preferences away from rum, resulting in a 4% decline in retail volume and a 2% drop in retail value compared to fiscal 2019.

There was, however, a welcome bounce in Lamb’s UK performance, thanks to the relisting of the 1L Lamb’s Navy variant on supermarket shelves and the relaunch of Lamb’s Spiced in vibrant new packaging. The packaging refresh was so successful in the UK that we subsequently brought it to Canada.

The full Lamb’s product range got a boost at the end of fiscal 2020 with a new look and feel to appeal to younger consumers.

We took our partnership with the Newfoundland and Labrador Liquor Corporation (NLC) to a new level in announcing an agreement to have Lamb’s Sociable ready-to-drink beverage canned by Rock Spirits, the manufacturing arm of NLC. The agreement not only supports the local economy, it also protects the environment by reducing transportation needs. Lamb’s rum is the number one selling spirits brand in the province and Lamb’s Sociable has taken off since its launch two years ago. Rock Spirits will produce Lamb’s Sociable Pineapple and Green Apple flavours at its bottling/blending facility in St. John’s.

Lamb’s rum
414k 9L cases shipped
(includes export)
+5% compared to fiscal 2019

Polar Ice vodka

Polar Ice vodka is a favourite in the on-premise channel and thus was heavily affected by COVID-19 on-premise closings and restrictions. Retail volume was flat and retail value increased 2% compared to fiscal 2019.

To support its growth, we refreshed Polar Ice packaging, highlighting the brand’s Canadian provenance and — in the spirit of conviviality — putting two bears on the label instead of one. We also continued to roll out the fun It’s Just Our Nature communication campaign, with billboards designed to elicit at least a chuckle from Canadians.

In the spirit of conviviality, two bears on the new Polar Ice label are better than one.

Polar Ice Vodka
356k 9L cases shipped
-2% compared to fiscal 2019

Mixable liqueurs

Corby’s portfolio of mixable liqueur brands consists of McGuinness liqueurs (which is Canada’s largest mixable liqueur brand family) and Meaghers liqueurs. With category growth being driven by traditional coffee and cream liqueurs (like our Cabot Trail), it was a challenging year for our mixable liqueurs portfolio. Retail volume declined 3% compared to 2019 and retail value remained flat.

Drinks made with colourful McGuinness liqueurs enhance the cocktail experience and make for the best Instagram posts.

Our strategy is to innovate in format size and flavours in line with consumer trends. For example, an expanded range of flavour offerings in a convenient 375mL format is designed to encourage consumer trial. McGuinness also features in some of our co-branded programs activated in retail and on-premise locations and through social media.

Mixable liqueurs
149k 9L cases shipped
-2% compared to fiscal 2019