Brown‑Forman launches distribution business in Italy

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Pic: getty/omersukrugoksu
Pic: getty/omersukrugoksu

Related tags Brown-forman corporation Italy

Brown‑Forman Corporation has announced its plan to distribute its own brands in Italy, starting from May 1, 2025.

Italy is one of the top five spirits markets in the EU, according to IWSR, and the leading market for Brown-Forman’s Mediterranean-inspired Gin Mare brand globally (which the American spirits giant bought in 2022​ to boost its super-premium portfolio).

Furthermore, Brown‑Forman is the #1 company in the premium+ spirits industry, with Jack Daniel’s being the #1 whiskey in the market, and Gin Mare taking a #2 spot in the super premium+ gin category (the fastest growing category over the past five years).

Brown-Forman has been shifting its distribution strategy over the past few years with the launch of its own distribution businesses in a number of markets.

It directly sells its brands in several European markets, including Belgium, Czechia, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Poland, Spain, Türkiye, and the UK. It is also in the process of setting up distribution businesses in Slovakia​ and Japan​, while other markets covered in this way further afield include South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand.

“We believe setting up our own distribution organization will enable the growth of our brands across all channels in Italy,” said Agnieszka Przybylek, General Manager, Brown‑Forman Italy.

“Italy is an important market for driving the growth of our Jack Daniel’s Family of Brands globally and, in particular, for our latest portfolio additions, Gin Mare and Diplomático Rum. We believe that the creation of our own distribution business in this market will offer increased consumer focus and prioritization of our brands, empowered by a talented team,” added Yiannis Pafilis, EVP, President of Europe, Brown‑Forman.

Brown-Forman uses a variety of distribution models for its global market: shaped around the structure of retail and wholesale trade in a market, as well as the stage of development of its portfolio in each individual market.

In the US, Brown-Forman 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.

In other markets, including Italy and South Africa, it relies on third parties to distribute its brands, generally under fixed-term distribution contracts.

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