North America is Diageo’s biggest market, accounting for 32% of total Diageo net sales.
Whiskey sales were strong in the region, with net sales up 13%. Crown Royal was a driver of growth, particularly with Crown Royal Regal Apple recruiting new consumers to the brand and driving double digit top line growth for the trademark.
Fellow whiskey Bulleit, an unflavoured North American spirit, saw net sales shoot up 35%. Increased distribution, consumer experience marketing and engagement with key trade influencers are credited with boosting Bulleit Bourbon and Bulleit Rye.
But major brands Johnnie Walker and Smirnoff suffered: a reduction in promotional activities for Red, Black and Blue Label meant the Johnnie Walker brand ‘did not perform well,’ while flavour varieties of Smirnoff dragged the brand down 4%.
Guinness net sales were up 3% thanks to Blonde American Lager, although Guinness Draught felt competition from the craft beer segment.