Beam Suntory is a leading international spirits company with a small but influential portfolio led by Jim Beam bourbon, the #2 North American whiskey (after Jack Daniel's), and Japan's Suntory Kakubin. Impact Databank estimated total group volumes of 61.6m cases in 2018. Jim Beam and its flavour variants sold 9.7m cases, worth around $1.7bn at retail (according to Impact), putting it among the Top 20 brands globally. Kakubin was just outside the Top 30 with 5.0m cases and $925m. Other key brands by value include Maker's Mark whiskey (2.1m cases, $675m), Sauza tequila (4.1m cases, $645m), Courvoisier cognac (1.4m cases, $615m) and Pinnacle vodka (2.5m cases, $370m). The group also has rights to De Kuyper liqueurs in the US, where sales are 2.0m cases. Other important drinkss include the shochu brands Kyogetsu and Muginoka and Tory's whisky (sold mostly in Japan by sister company Suntory Spirits); as well as Canadian Club whiskey, Larios gin, Teacher's whisky and Hornitos tequila internationally, all with sales in excess of 1m cases annually. Beam Suntory operates a distribution joint venture with UK whisky producer Edrington in several international markets. Albert Baladi replaced Matt Shattock as CEO of Beam Suntory in 2019. Suntory doesn't split out financial results for its various alcoholic beverages business. However, total sales from alcoholic beverages in 2019 were approx $7.1bn. That includes the combined operations of Beam Suntory, Suntory Spirits in Japan, Suntory Beer and Suntory Wine International. The current group was formed in 2014 from the acquisition by Japanese giant Suntory of US drinks business Beam Inc. That company had previously been one of several divisions of diversified conglomerate Fortune Brands, originally America's biggest tobacco company before it began to dip its toes into other less controversial industries during the 1960s. Fortune expanded its spirits profile considerably in 2005 when it lent its support to rival Pernod-Ricard's acquisition of the previous global #2, Allied Domecq. As a result, Fortune's drinks cabinet was swelled by the addition of such stellar brands as Sauza tequila, Courvoisier cognac and Canadian Club whisky among others. Further acquisitions followed, include fast-growing Pinnacle vodka. The Allied Domecq deal also marked the beginning of a gradual refocusing of Fortune Brands' odd assortment of different businesses. In 2011, the group spun off its two other main divisions of home hardware (now Fortune Brands Home & Security) and golfing equipment in order to focus exclusively on premium spirits. That divestment led to the slimmed-down group being seen as a prime acquisition target, leading eventually to the purchase by Suntory.
Capsule checked 27th March 2020
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Who are the competitors of Beam Suntory? Jim Beam's main competitors among North American whiskies, apart from the group's own super-premium Maker's Mark, are Brown-Forman's Jack Daniel's, Early Times and Woodford Reserve; Evan Williams (Heaven Hill); Diageo's Crown Royal, Seagram's and Bulleit; Wild Turkey (now Campari) and Four Roses (Kirin). See Alcoholic Beverages: Spirits for other companies
Historical profile information for Beam Suntory
Adbrands Social Media 20th Mar 2019: "We Make Gin Not Compromises". It seems very appropriate that the ad for artisan gin Sipsmith is made from that similarly painstaking craft of stop motion animation. It's also pleasantly quirky, in the nature of the product. Ogilvy UK is the agency responsible, with models and animation by many of the team members who worked on Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs. A lovely piece of work, which emphasises the independent spirit of the brand, despite the fact that it's now owned by global giant Beam Suntory.
Adbrands Weekly Update 11th Oct 2018: Beam Suntory's long-serving CEO Matt Shattock will step down in April 2019, to be succeeded by Albert Baladi, currently group COO & president, Americas. Shattock has led Beam Suntory, and before that Beam Inc, for ten years.
Adbrands Weekly Update 5th Apr 2018: AB InBev is attempting to protect its flagging Budweiser franchise - one of the main victims from Constellation's growth - with the introduction of a new partnership with Beam Suntory's Jim Beam whiskey. The two companies are launching a "beer and a bourbon" promotion this month in US bars, to be followed by the launch of Budweiser Reserve Copper, a lager aged on the staves from Jim Beam barrels to "create a toasted oak aroma and deliciously nutty taste with caramel rye and vanilla notes". That partnership is itself a response to Constellation's previously announced Western Standard beer, which has been aged in barrels from its own bourbon brand.
Adbrands Weekly Update 9th Nov 2017: Beam Suntory announced the promotion of Albert Baladi to a newly created role as group COO and president, Americas region. That follows the departure of former Americas president Tim Hassett. Pryce Greenow moves up to replace Baladi as president, international markets.
Adbrands Weekly Update 22nd Dec 2016: Drinks group Beam Suntory added London-based gin distiller Sipsmith to its portfolio for an undisclosed sum. It has acquired a controlling stake in the business, which will continue to be run by founders Sam Galsworthy and Fairfax Hall.
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