The plant already produces several Pernod Ricard spirits, including Kahlua Coffee Liqueur and Seagram’s Gin. The new investment will add canning capabilities: ‘helping accelerate growth for the company, add more US jobs and create a spillover of economic benefits for the local community.’
“This investment is an incredible step in strengthening our manufacturing footprint in Fort Smith,” said Pierre Joncourt, Senior Vice President, Pernod Ricard North America. “The high-speed canning line will be instrumental in increasing our production capabilities and swiftly bringing our premium, bar-quality RTDs to market.”
IWSR predicts RTDs will be the fastest growing alcohol category globally over the next five years: with an expectation for them to increase by an additional $11.6bn over that time.
Pernod Ricard notes the popularity of such drinks — which include hard seltzers, prepared cocktails and long drinks, hard teas and coffees, wine spritzers and coolers — has been spurred by their convenience, availability and recyclability.
Each of the beverages in the company’s current RTD portfolio, including Jameson Ginger & Lime, Malibu Pineapple Bay Breeze, Absolut Berry Vodkarita and TX Whiskey & Cola, has been ‘meticulously crafted to mirror the thoughtful artistry you experience at the bar — using the same high-quality ingredients, with the same high-quality results’.
“Volume has only continued to increase for our Fort Smith facility and the spirits industry overall,” said Jennifer Anglin, Senior Operations Director for the Fort Smith plant. “This latest canning line expansion will not only allow us to produce various spirits across our brand portfolio, but more importantly, it will create numerous jobs to keep up with demand.”
The Fort Smith plant has also recently added eight brand new 50,000-gallon tanks to assist with production.