Friday, February 15, 2013
Suntory Liquors Looking To Lift Jim Beam Sales
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Suntory Liquors Ltd. plans to increase sales volume of Jim Beam bourbon by sixfold this year, positioning the brand as its mainstay whiskey offering.
The company acquired the Japanese sales rights to the world's top-selling bourbon from Asahi Breweries Ltd. at the start of the year.
- Suntory Liquors is shooting for 500% growth in sales volume for Jim Beam this year.
Aggressive marketing of highball cocktails led to the resurgence of Suntory's domestic-whiskey business. A team of 10, including the man who managed the highball campaign, will handle marketing for Jim Beam, with 1,000 employees put in charge of sales.
Suntory aims to have the brand in about 20,000 restaurants and bars by the end of March and is also looking to sell it at roughly 30,000 retailers. Sales for this year are targeted at 160,000 cases, up 500% from last year.
Whiskey, including bourbon, is enjoying a comeback in the U.S., according to the firm. A rise in shipments to 16.2 million cases in 2011, up 20% from 2000, is attributed to younger adults enjoying the beverages as cocktails. Suntory will promote mint juleps using Jim Beam Black bourbon to eateries as a cocktail for younger adults in hopes of creating a new trend this year.
Shipments of American whiskeys like bourbon come to an annual 680,000 cases in Japan -- about 10% those of domestic whiskey. Suntory handed over the Japanese sales rights to leading Tennessee-whiskey brand Jack Daniels to Asahi this year. Suntory believes that the two firms' American-whiskey promotions will help the domestic market grow to 780,000 cases this year.
(The Nikkei Business Daily, Feb. 15 edition)