Diageo North America eyes up RTD growth with new Illinois canning facility

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Crown Royal's new whisky lemonade is being produced at the site. Pic: Diageo
Crown Royal's new whisky lemonade is being produced at the site. Pic: Diageo

Related tags Diageo RTD alcohol

Diageo has opened a new manufacturing site in Plainfield, Illinois: featuring two high-speed can lines.

Diageo Lincolnway provides the capacity to produce more than 25 million cases of malt-based beverages and spirits-based RTD cocktails: helping accelerate the development of the company’s RTD portfolio and growth strategy in the convenience category.

The operation at the new 225,000 square-foot facility supplements existing ready-to-drink production across North America. Products produced at the site include Smirnoff seltzers and spirits-based RTD cocktails from Crown Royal and Ketel One Botanical Vodka Spritz.

“We’re incredibly proud of the speed and innovative approach from our team and partners in their efforts to build this site in record time. Diageo Lincolnway will be instrumental in accelerating our offerings in the convenience space and help meet consumer demand,”​ said Michael L. Nelson Jr., Manufacturing & Distillation, Senior Vice President, Diageo North America. “The new facility strengthens our manufacturing footprint in the region and allows us to leverage synergies with our warehouse and bottling operation in Plainfield.”

With an investment of around $110m, Diageo Lincolnway employs 50 full-time team members. The Plainfield Bottling site - opened in 1966 - and the warehouse collectively employ more than 600 additional people.

RTD growth

Globally, RTD alcohol volume share is set to double over the next five years,​ according to IWSR: with much growth coming from the North American market. 

With consumers increasingly seeking convenience, Diageo – traditionally known for beer and spirits - has set out its plans to build its portfolio in this area.

“The RTD category continues to gain momentum in the United States, driven by consumer interest in enjoying cocktails at home and demand for a range of drinks in convenient formats that are ideal for casual and at-home occasions,”​ notes Diageo.

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