The Macallan plans aggressive growth in US market

Related tags Scotch whisky

The Macallan, the third largest single malt Scotch whisky brand in
the US, has introduced The Macallan Fine Oak as part of a concerted
strategy to consolidate its position in the North American market.

The company claims that the Fine oak, which is a lighter style of single malt whisky, is central to the brand's US growth strategy. There is certainly scope for growth within the sector - while the overall US Scotch whisky category was down 0.5 per cent in 2003, the single malt Scotch whisky category grew by 8 per cent and is expected to grow at 8 per cent per year over the next five years.

The new product launch ties into The Macallans' recently launched advertising campaign, which aims to reposition the brand as "the world's most precious whisky."​ The campaign will continue throughout 2004 and 2005, supported by a $2.5 million media plan featuring the new bottle design and contemporary bottle.

"Our eye-catching advertising campaign, combined with the launch of The Macallan Fine Oak and the stylish new bottle and pack design will lead The Macallan down the path to becoming a global luxury icon,"​claimed Mark Izatt, single malt brand manager of US importer Remy Amerique. "Every interaction that our consumer will have with the brand will drive home the luxury experience that the brand provides while ensuring that the brand remains vibrant and dynamic."

Year-to-date, The Macallan sales have increased by 15 per cent. "With the introduction of The Macallan Fine Oak, the brand is poised to take advantage of the trend towards single malt Scotch whisky consumption in the US,"​ said Izatt. "We think that this lighter style of whisky will ultimately grow the category and our consumer base."

The Macallan Fine Oak represents a departure from the brand's exclusive use of European Sherry oak casks. The whisky has been aged in a unique combination of American and European oak casks, having previously held Sherry or Bourbon.

"The Macallan brand is rooted in superlative craftsmanship, stylish luxury and cultivated discernment,"​ said Izatt. "The Macallan Fine Oak is the most ambitious initiative and one of the most exciting liquids introduced during the brand's 180-year history pursuing single malt perfection."

The Macallan will introduce Easter Elchies House, the spiritual home of The Macallan since 1824, as the brand icon on all packaging. The signature brand identity across the range will feature a triangular neck label identifying the whisky's age. The Macallan's new bottle is a round to elliptical bottle, taller than many other single malts.

The company claims that the new bottle has a distinctive, solid feel and will be packaged in luxurious cartons (up to 18 years old) and premium rigid boxes (21 years old and above). The Macallan Fine Oak will be differentiated from The Macallan Sherry Oak by the use of different colours, substrates, metallic inks and oak tree icon on all labels and packaging.

"The Macallan Fine Oak, along with the luxuriously sleek packaging, will make a major contribution to growing the brand in a stock-constrained environment,"​ said Izatt. "This lighter style of whisky will open new markets for The Macallan and invite new premium spirit drinkers looking to add a high-quality whisky to their portfolio."

The Macallan​ is distilled on the Easter Elchies estate in the Scottish Highlands.

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