Edrington sees ‘significant opportunities’ in premium US spirits


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Ian Curle, CEO, Edrington
Ian Curle, CEO, Edrington

Related tags Scotch whisky Us

Edrington says it sees ‘significant opportunities’ in the US for brands such as The Macallan and Brugal Extra Dry rum, as it takes over distribution of its brands from Remy Cointreau USA from 2014.

Today the Scottish spirits group – owner of The Famous Grouse, Cutty Sark and premium single malts The Macallan and Highland Park – announced a £10-15m distribution investment that will see it found new sales, marketing and distribution companies in the US, Southeast Asia and Middle East.

Ian Curle, Edrington CEO (pictured) said the announcement marked a business “step change”​ and said that demand for premium and super-premium spirits continued to grow worldwide.

'Gets us closer to local consumer'

The US is the world’s largest premium spirits market, with demand for premium malt whisky growing by 16% per year as the market adds a million new spirits consumers annually.

Through the creation of Edrington USA, the firm aims to expand its reach across major cities in the US – opening offices in Chicago, LA, Dallas, Miami and expanding a New York office.

The firm’s current distribution agreement with Remy Cointreau USA will end on March 31 2014.

Public affairs director, Gerry O'Donnell, told BeverageDaily.com that taking control of US distribution "gets us closer to the local consumer, increases the focus on Edrington’s brands, and speeds up decision-making".

There are significant opportunities for its brands in the US, Edrington claims, particularly The Macallan and golden rum Brugal Extra Dry.

Rum market not yet fully developed

Glossing these opportunities, O'Donnell stressed that it is a growing premium spirits market. "The Macallan operates in the growing single malt segment and is viewed as a luxury, premium spirit,"​ he said.

The rum market has not yet fully developed its premium and super premium segments,"​ he told this publication. "Brugal is well-placed to respond to this – an authentic (from Dominican Republic) rum that has Edrington’s premium-building skills behind it."

Edrington Singapore will manage the firm’s brands across Southeast Asia – where The Macallan is the leading premium single malt whisky, with the firm citing its increasingly important role in its global success.

Thirdly, a new JV with FIX Wines and Spirits will see Edrington distribute spirits to growing markets in the Middle East, Gulf and North Africa (MENA) with a focus on key cities and the travel market.

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