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Skinnygirl Cocktails, Founded By Bethenny Frankel, Named Fastest-Growing Spirit Brand

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 05/ 2/2012 12:09 pm Updated: 05/ 2/2012 12:26 pm

Skinnygirl Cocktails is the fastest-growing spirit brand according to a new industry report from Technomic. The ready-to-drink cocktail line, founded by entrepreneur and "Real Housewives of New York" alum Bethenny Frankel saw a 388 percent increase in growth, passing the 500,000-case mark.

Launched in 2009, Frankel built the burgeoning brand from a single offering -- the Skinnygirl Margarita. The line now includes three wines, four flavored vodkas and a pina colada mix. All of the offerings are low calorie, adding to the brands female-centric appeal. In 2011, the brand was sold to liquor giant Beam for an undisclosed -- and hotly debated -- sum.

"You have a product that was certainly on trend of being a lower calorie offering," Technomic's Senior Director Donna Hood Crecca told MSNBC. "It was backed by a celebrity that was coming on strong. And the liquid in the bottle itself is appealing, very female friendly. It’s also priced right."

According to the report, the spirits industry is steadily growing, seeing a 3.5 percent uptick in sales in 2011, which boosts spirits sales to account for 6.4 percent of total adult beverages, an increase of 0.3 percent since 2010.

Within the spirits category, vodka remains the largest with a 32 percent share of spirits volume. Other leading spirits include tequila, rye and whiskey.

Despite an unsteady economy, the report found that Americans consumed 199.8 million cases of spirits in 2011, with men and millennials having the most buying power.

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