brand and bottle

$16 Billion Beam Inc. Acquisition Will See Greater Distribution of Whiskey Brands

Posted by Mark J. Miller on January 13, 2014 05:22 PM

Liquor giants Diageo and Pernod Ricard can start looking over their shoulders. Japan’s Suntory Holdings, which produces some of Japan’s oldest whiskeys, has just agreed to pay $16 billion for Beam Inc., the American producer of Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam, Sauza, and Gilbey’s, Ad Age reports. The deal makes Suntory the third-largest liquor company in the world. 

As a result of the deal, Suntory, which also bottles Pepsi in Japan and owns the Orangina brand, will have greater distribution in the US and Beam, whose portfolio includes the lucrative Skinnygirl line, will have much stronger exposure in the Asian marketplace. That’s a pretty good deal for Suntory, which currently sources 90 percent of its business from Japan. 

“Suntory has virtually no U.S. presence,” Mark Swartzberg, an analyst at Stifel Financial Corp., said in a research note today, according to Bloomberg. “This will take their share from less than 1 percent to 11 percent. Meanwhile, Beam stockholders will head to the bank with $83.50 for each share owned instead of the $66.97 share price that it last closed at." The two companies previously had a distribution deal in which Suntory distributed Beam products in Japan, and Beam distributed Suntory products in Singapore and greater Asia.Continue reading...

brand vs. brand

Wax Job: Cuervo Wants a Piece of the Maker’s Mark Dippin' Top

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 2, 2011 03:29 PM

Maker’s Mark bourbon was the only liquor on the market for many years that used a red-wax seal at the top of its bottles. It gave off the image of being used as a seal, but purely served a decorative purpose.

The wax became so synonymous with the bourbon that its manufacturer, Fortune Brands, created a whole ad campaign around it and has “onsite dipping stations that allow customers to make their own wax seals on bottles,” the Associated Press reports. In fact, the brand even offers a "dip your own" mobile app on the iTunes store.

Along came Diageo’s Cuervo tequila in 1997, though, with its red wax-topped Reserva label. When it entered the U.S. market in 2001, Maker’s Mark was not happy and filed suit in 2003, the AP notes. It won the case in 2010 but now, here comes the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, because every liquor bottle without wax on the top is really an opportunity missed.

"What they have here is a competitive desire to use the wax, not a competitive need to use wax," said Maker’s Mark attorney Edward T. Colbert, who happens to be comedian Stephen Colbert's brother, the AP reports.

It isn’t clear when the appeals court will make its decision, according to the AP. Fortune Brands, by the way, recently spun off its liquor business into its own company, Beam Inc.

brand news

Brands to Watch: iPhone 5, Gap, PayPal and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on October 3, 2011 07:00 PM

Apple's rumored virtual assistant feature could outshine Tuesday's iPhone 5 announcement (and rumor mill). Sprint, meanwhile, is reportedly buying 30.5 million iPhones from Apple.

Australia looks beyond cigarettes for plain packaging rules.

Bank of America shares fall on European fears.

Boeing ramps up commercial airline production.

Carnival Cruise Lines signs brand partners.

Daily Mail posts wrong Amanda Knox verdict.

ESPN pulls Hank Williams Jr. signature tune following Hitler remark.Continue reading...

brand and bottle

Beam Global Pours Out New Logo

Posted by Jennifer Sokolowski on August 18, 2011 01:06 PM

Beam Global Spirits & Wine has come out with new branding in anticipation of its upcoming separation from parent company Fortune Brands. The new logo features the word “Beam” written in the script of James B. Beam, the fourth-generation distiller who gave the Kentucky bourbon its name.

The new branding highlights Jim Beam, the company’s flagship brand and the no. 1 bourbon globally, as Beam Global moves out from the umbrella of Fortune Brands to focus solely on the spirits business.

While the new design is not exactly a “bold choice” – Jim Beam bourbon’s most recent marketing theme – it reflects Beam’s strategy of focusing on the idea of heritage and authenticity in marketing its vast portfolio of brands, which includes Skinnygirl margarita and sangria, Sauza tequila, Maker’s Mark bourbon, Canadian Club whiskey and Courvoisier cognac.Continue reading...

brand strategy

Kraft Split to Double Its Opportunities

Posted by Dale Buss on August 4, 2011 05:00 PM

Kraft Foods CEO Irene Rosenfeld plans to accelerate her transformation of the mainstream-foods giant, which boasts 61 brands today, by spinning off its North American grocery unit, a move that she anticipates will free both that business and the remaining snacks business to do better what they do best.

According to the company's announcement, Kraft's grocery entity, with about $16 billion in annual sales, will include the U.S. units handling many of Kraft’s most venerable brands including Jell-O desserts, meats under the Oscar Mayer brand, cheese, convenient meals and other food items that are slower-growing but higher-margin businesses. Those established units, Rosenfeld said, can be counted on to continue to return cash to shareholders.

The other side of the operation, a snacks company that represents about $32 billion in annual revenues, will be built from European and developing-markets units as well as the North American snacks and candies business. This will be the more dynamic of the two large concerns as it pushes Kraft snack products such as Cadbury chocolates and Oreo cookies into emerging markets.Continue reading...

brand news

Brands to Watch: Gap, MTV, Lady Gaga and more

Posted by Shirley Brady on May 5, 2011 06:00 PM

Brands to Watch

Apple now worth 5x more than in 2006, and nearly 2x as much as Google.

Citi expands socially responsible investing.

Fortune Brands rise on spirit sales.

Gap ousts designer Patrick Robinson, cuts outlook.

Google looks indoors for growth.

Gucci releases charitable bag for Mother's Day.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: AT&T, Tepco, Disney and more

Posted by Dale Buss on March 21, 2011 09:00 AM

In the News

AT&T explained why it's shelling out $39 billion for T-Mobile to create America's biggest wireless carrier in a conference call this morning ( has more) while Sprint is "left scrambling" and JPMorgan trumps Goldman Sachs with deal.

Japan food brands face consumer fears of contamination as Tepco nuclear plant situation continues. Sony and Nissan are also resuming operations, while YouTube promotes a video people-finder to aid search and rescue efforts. Swiss Re estimates Japan claims at $1.2 billion.

Berkshire Hathaway seeks more big acquisitions — but not technology

Boeing launches newest 747 on its maiden flight.

Diageo is reportedly weighing a $2 billion bid for Jose Cuervo.Continue reading...

in the spotlight

Fortune Brands Favor the Bold

Posted by Barry Silverstein on December 8, 2010 05:30 PM

Some brand owners see strategic value in consolidating their brands under a unified corporate structure, using size to leverage its marketing power and achieve economies of scale. This makes perfect sense when a company manages many brands in similar categories that serve similar markets, as in the case of Procter & Gamble.

But then there are those companies whose brand holdings are in diverse categories, each of which requires a specialized approach to marketing and distribution. In this case, a consolidated business model may become a barrier to further growth.

So it is with Fortune Brands, which has announced its intention to separate the company into three unique businesses representing its distinct consumer product lines.Continue reading...

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