Jim Beam Brands Worldwide
Inc., Deerfield, Ill., has changed its name to Beam Global Spirits &
Wine Inc. The change reflects the acquisition of former Allied Domecq
brands purchased from Pernod Ricard.
“This acquisition transformed JBB Worldwide into
a new global leader in premium spirits, and made us a stronger player in
U.S. wines,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Tom Flocco.
“It redefined who we are, what we stand for and what we are capable
of achieving in the future.”
The new brands make the company the fourth-largest
spirits company in the world, and doubled its revenue from $1.2 billion to
$2.5 billion. The company also has changed from one with sales
predominantly in the United States to one with more global sales. Sales and
distribution have shifted from almost 75 percent in the United
States to a nearly equal split between the domestic and international. In
addition, the company now has a larger, more diverse wine portfolio.
JBB Worldwide’s wine business now includes the
former Allied Domecq U.S. wines and European fortified wines, as well as
Peak Wines International. The products have been folded into a division
called Beam Wine Estates, which now comprises the No. 5 super-premium wine
business in the United States, with brands such as Clos du Bois and Geyser
Within the spirits portfolio are nine of the Top 100
premium spirits brands. Brands include Jim Beam bourbon; Canadian Club
Canadian whisky; Courvoisier cognac; Laphroaig Scotch; Sauza tequila;
Larios gin; Whisky DYC; Teacher’s Scotch; and DeKuyper cordials. BI
PepsiAmericas adds Nutrisoda
PepsiAmericas Inc. has
purchased Ardea Beverage Co., maker of airforce Nutrisoda, and will
collaborate with Pepsi-Cola North America to
market airforce Nutrisoda in select markets with the possibility for future
The Ardea portfolio includes a line of nutritionally
enhanced, low calorie, carbonated beverages. “The Nutrisoda brand
complements our growing portfolio of healthier beverages, providing a
unique and fashionable beverage alternative,” said Robert Pohlad,
chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiAmericas.
“We knew we had the right product, but access to
a strong selling system was critical to the long-term success of
Nutrisoda,” added Joe Heron founder of Ardea. “With
PepsiAmericas’ strong customer relationships, infrastructure, and
quality of management, we are excited about the possibilities for
Ardea will operate as a
wholly owned subsidiary of Pepsi-Americas. BI
Tequila regulations relaxed
Mexico has dropped a proposed regulation that would ban bulk exports of
tequila and require all bottling to occur in one of the five Mexican states
comprising the tequila region. An agreement between the Mexican and U.S.
governments was signed by Trade Representative Rob Portman and
Mexico’s Secretary of Economy Sergio Garca de Alba.
“We are extremely pleased that the United States
and Mexican governments have reached an agreement on tequila that will
protect the interests of Mexican agave growers and tequila producers as
well as U.S. bottlers and importers,” said Peter Cressy, president of
the Distilled Spirits Council, Washington, D.C. “The agreement will
ensure that the tequila sold in the United States market continues to meet
rigorous Mexican standards.”
The spirits council had expressed concern that a ban
on bulk shipments would have a serious effect
on U.S. consumers and on the tequila market in the United States. Nearly
three-quarters of the tequila imported into the United States is shipped in
bulk form. Under the agreement, U.S. importers will be able to import
bottled tequila from Mexico or bottle it themselves in the United States. BI
Molson Coors pulls back from Brazil
Molson Coors has sold a 68 percent stake in its Kaiser Brazilian
operation to Femsa Cerveza SA for $68 million. The move has been expected
as the Brazilian business has been struggling for several years.
“Last year, we committed to a strategic review
of our Brazilian business,” said Leo Kiely, president and chief
executive officer at Molson Coors. The transaction allows us to focus on
our biggest markets and continue to deliver the cost synergies and other
benefits related to the Molson Coors merger. It also represents a winning
proposition for Kaiser in Brazil, as it further aligns branding,
production, selling and distribution operations.” Femsa owns the
largest distributor of Kaiser products in Brazil.
Molson Coors will maintain a 15 percent share of
Kaiser and one seat on the board. Heineken NV maintains a 17 percent equity
interest in the business.
“We think that Molson Coors likely decided to
keep a stake in Kaiser because Latin America is ‘prime real
estate’ for the global beer industry and Brazil presents a sizable
opportunity,” said Citigroup analyst Bonnie Hergoz in a recent
announcement. “We believe in order to be a true global player, a beer
company needs exposure in Latin America because of growth potential in that
region. Therefore, had Molson Coors completely exited this business, the
brewer would have given up an opportunity that could have provided growth
in the future.” BI
Costco wins round in distribution case
A recent Washington State
court ruling came down in favor of Costco Wholesale Corp., which contended
the state’s alcohol distribution law violated federal antitrust law.
The state’s law allowed in-state beer and wine producers to ship
directly to retailers, but out-of-state producers to sell products through
wholesalers and distributors. The U.S. District Court ruling says the
constitution requires equal distribution rights for all producers.
Lawmakers in Washington have until April 14 to decide whether to give
out-of-state producers the same direct-sales option as in-state producers
or require all producers to use the three-tier system. BI
Consumer-generated buzz and alternate media spur most
new product trial
The fourth annual Most Memorable New Product Launch Survey, 2005,
conducted by Schneider Associates and Stagnito Communications Inc.
indicates that the channels and methods through which consumers are
absorbing new product messages are changing as the market continues to
“Conducting this study for the fourth year gave
us a little bit of traction to observe what has changed since our
first-time study in 2002, and one of the most interesting developments is
that word-of-mouth has become one of the biggest resources for consumers to
learn about new products,” says Julie Hall, vice president of
consumer practice at Schneider Associates, Boston.
Although advertising spending rose 2.6 percent in 2005
to $275 billion vs. $268 billion in 2004, according to TNS Media
Intelligence, consumers experienced less product recall than ever, with 57
percent of consumers polled unable to recall a single new product launched
Of the products that did stick in consumers’
minds, the Xbox 360 and McDonald’s Fruit and Walnut Salad topped the
list as Most Memorable new products in 2005, each garnering 23 percent of
the vote by consumers. Other memorable new products included Coke Zero and
Coke with Lime, Apple iPod and Tide to Go. Of the new products that
consumers purchased in 2005, the purchase feasibility of ever-gulpable soft
drinks led to both Coke Zero and Coke with Lime being the most trialed new
products, followed by the McDonald’s Fruit and Walnut Salad.
“Consumers continue to be confused by the
overabundance of soda offerings and the soda wars, but Coke Zero and Coke
with Lime were both highly purchased items this year,” Hall says.
One of the most interesting developments discussed
within the advertising industry in 2005 was that traditional commercial ads
of 30 seconds are no longer as effective as they historically have been.
Taking over are word-of-mouth channels, including Internet emanations such
as blogging, and recommendations from friends and family, as well as a new
emphasis on point-of-sale marketing.
In fact, the biggest jump in what motivates consumers
to buy was toward “in-store display,” with 62 percent of
consumers indicating point-of-sale marketing influenced their purchase
decisions, up from 53 percent last year. The newest theory in industry
advertising posits that consumers make a purchase decision for a new
product within three to seven seconds of seeing that new product on the
shelf, and the window of opportunity to influence that decision is vital,
fleeting, and dependent on shelf marketing materials.
Endorsements from friends and family were significant
in a consumer’s purchase, with 59 percent of consumers indicating
they “usually try new products recommended by friends or
family” and 65 percent “often recommending new products to
family and friends.”BI
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