Apr 10th 2010 7:21PM Actually Crown is not very dominate here in Texas in bar sales. I believe that one of the problems lies in the price point, and the other with the very repugnant image that people have of crown drinkers.
At the same mid shelf there are many single malts and designer whiskeys that take away the scene and trendy market. In the local dive bars bourbon is king. The college bars of course sell mostly well with the kids mainly prefering the Jager, Rumple, and midshelf tequila shots when they order anything more then the cheap stuff. At my hotel bar i do keep it stocked (as do most places i guess) for the business traveler who is not a bar regular. I sell more than a case of Jim Beam to a bottle of Crown though i do push Jim monday through thursday by making it my well at $2.50.
I personally believe that one of the main problems with Crown is Diageo's rather unskillful marketing. Im not sure if Diageo just doesnt understand the current bar market or if they are content with having huge brand recognition yet a very specific and often looked down on customer base. For example i will give the other things i stock from Diageo and how well it sells: With beer the only Diageo product i move with any regularity is Guiness (it has a definate clientale and i personally believe that it is being marketed extremely well.) On the scotch front you have Johnny Walker (i carry red and black) which i dont sell a whole lot of, but oddly i do move more Oban than most places i know (and it is a personal favorite.) My Hennessy moves in spurts and has a definite clientele, but people that really like Hen will drink little else. I guess what im really getting at is yes as the above commenter noted i live in Texas and not New York or LA. The market for drinks here is much different than in most huge metropolitan locations, however it is very flawed logic to think that people here believe that they are in any way less sophisticated or less influenced by current marketing trends. I live in a market where many women drink bourbon, in NY or LA you would likely pour a lot more vodka soda's. Those metropolitan women are completely out of Diageo's reach with the paltry offerings of Cirroc, Kettle One, or Smirnoff. However here in Texas a strong branding of a new flavorful Canadian or a good attempt at reinventing the Crown image as something other than a drink for people so out of touch they dont know better would likely bring tons of business. Crown suffers too much from the same has been marketing strategies that killed zima and has american sales of Heineken on life support, it is a drink that you would not be caught dead ordering. So i guess in conclusion i still stand by my orriginal stance that Crown Royal is to whiskey what McDonald's is to food, however i would also have to add that it has all the reputation of having an amateur following and a clientale so out of touch they are still comfortable in their Member's only jackets and fanny packs.
Apr 9th 2010 3:19AM Crown Royal is to whiskey what Mc Donalds is to food. This new offering of Crown Black tastes suspiciously like regular Crown with chemicals added. The only black i care for however is a Kentucky bourbon, Jim Beam Black, however it is usually a tad tricky to find. I agree with the above commenter that Cuervo Black was disgusting, i bought 6 bottles from our friendly liquor rep and finally ended up pushing it at $1.00 a shot on karaoke night. But honestly Crown has a problem in that they strive to not rock the boat and be the whiskey your non drinking man drinks. I personally believe that it probably sees a huge majority of its sales during the holiday season when many gift boxes are bought as presents and people that normally dont have parties buy what they believe to be good whiskey. It however has been a strategy that has worked well for them for many years. Here in Lubbock Texas a 750 sells for $27.95 however liquor is usually high here. I personally will be shelving this in the mids and charging $4.50 a drink, however we dont sell much canadian and with Jack, Jim, Jim Black, and Bernheim's at the same price i doubt it will move much. As to the OP i am very confused with your comparison with Johnny Walker and Jameson's as one is a Scotch and the other an Irish. In my personal experience a person is as likely to switch from a Scotch or an Irish to a Canadian Whiskey as they are to kiss a pigs rear end as many people do not care for the more mellow flavor of Canadians. It might just be that i dont understand the terms "flagship" and "expression" both of which were used a lot in this article and being a dumb bar owner of 34 years i dont usually get a chance to be all literary.