Today Beam Inc. announced the launch of its first ever global, multi-year M&A campaign for world’s bestselling bourbon Jim Beam (Jack Daniel's is a Tennessee whiskey) across 100+ markets from Q4 2013.
Shattock, president and CEO, Beam Inc., told the audience at Barclay’s Back to School conference in Boston that his firm was seeing double-digit growth for bourbon in North America (where the firm also sells other key brand Maker’s Mark) “spill over in other whiskey markets”.
“I talked about a market like Australia where Jim Beam is the number one spirit of any kind,” he said.
“In a market like Germany, where the conversion from local to international spirits has been late, it’s been primarily through whiskey and within whiskey, bourbon has been doing really well.”
Promising long-term future
Central and Eastern Europe was growing really fast, as was the UK, Shattock said, stressing that he saw long-term promise for bourbon, especially in emerging markets that traditionally preferred Scotch whiskey, because of its taste profile and versatility.
“At the same time, what we like about it is that bourbon is a profitable category. It one of our more profitable categories…So it’s an important part of the mix, and for the foreseeable future we see good growth and it will be the cornerstone and first priority of our investment,” Shattock said.
Covers all needs, occasions, price points…
Nonetheless, in North America bourbon only got about 75% of the price per bottle of the average bottle of Scotch, Shattock noted.
“We are seeing a trend towards premiumization which is giving us the opportunity to raise our consumer price points and operate at all levels and price points in the marketplace,” he added.
Emphasising Beam Inc’s investment in bourbon – distilling and warehouse accounted for circa. 50% of CAPEX over the past five years – Shattock stressed the spirit’s versatility.
“It covers all needs, occasions and price points from products with more reasonable prices all the way up to $50 and more a bottle,” Shattock said.
“And what’s exciting…is that if you look at 2011 and 2012 actuals, the actual net sales value growth rates in those two years – the higher the price point, the faster the rate of growth,” he added.