Despite attracting a bevy of controversy over its health claims last year, celebrity brand Skinnygirl Cocktails recorded the biggest gain in the spirits industry in 2011, according to a new market report.
Analysts at Technomic say that among the top 250 spirits brands by volume, Skinnygirl Cocktails, created by US reality TV star Bethenny Frankel of the Real Housewives of New York City fame, saw a 388 percent increase in volume share last year, breaking the 500,000-case mark.
The brand is marketed for women as a low-calorie cocktail and mixer alternative.
Last year, organic and health food retailer Whole Foods yanked the bottles off their shelves after it was discovered that the product contained a food preservative and carcinogen, sodium benzoate, despite claiming that it was "all-natural" and "preservative-free."
Meanwhile, here are the other leading spirits brands by volume share in 2011:
Brands: Johnny Walker, Crown Royal, J & B, Bushmills, Smirnoff, Baileys, Tanqueray, Guinness
Beam Inc. 9.8%
Brands: Jim Beam, Courvoisier, Sauza Tequila, Skinnygirl Cocktails, Canadian Club whiskey
Bacardi USA: 8.9%
Brands: Bombay Sapphire, Grey Goose, Dewar's, Disaronno
Brands: Buffalo Trace Distillery, Van Winkle, Bowman's, Taaka
Pernod Ricard USA: 7.4 %
Brands: Jameson, Malibu, Beefeater, Chivas Regal, The Glenlivet, Absolut
Fastest Growing Spirits Brands
1. Skinnygirl Cocktails, by Beam Inc.,
2. Familia Camarena Tequila, by Alto Spirits/ E & J Gallo Winery
3. Malibu Prepared Cocktails, by Pernod Ricard USA
4. Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, by Sazerac
5. Rokk Vodka, by Diageo