Products are currently distributed by Asahi, in a collaboration which will continue until Brown-Forman takes over.
Brown-Forman – a US spirits giant best known for its Jack Daniel’s brand – notes that Japan is one of the world’s largest spirits markets, with a ‘significant footprint and leading position in premium+ whiskey’.
“We believe the new Brown‑Forman Japan organization will drive growth through the continued development of our Jack Daniel's Family of Brands and the broader super-premium brand portfolio in a key market,” said Ricardo Cupido, VP, Managing Director, Brown‑Forman Asia. “This move is an important milestone for Brown‑Forman and follows successful launches of owned distribution organizations in other regions of the world, including the recent transitions in Asia with South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand.”
Brown-Forman’s global distribution models are shaped, among other factors, around the structure of the retail and wholesale trade in a market and its portfolio’s development stage in that particular market.
In the US, it generally sells its brands either to distributors or to state governments (in states that directly control alcohol sales) that then sell to retail customers and consumers.
Outside the US, it uses a variety of route-to-consumer models. It owns and operate distribution companies for Australia, Belgium and Luxembourg, Brazil, Czechia, France, Germany, Korea, Mexico, Poland, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and the UK. In these owned-distribution markets, and in a large portion of the Travel Retail channel, it sells products directly to retailers or wholesalers.
In many other markets, including Italy, South Africa, and up to now Japan, the company relies on third parties to distribute its brands, generally under fixed-term distribution contracts.
In Canada, it sells its products to provincial governments.