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Campari To Double Wild Turkey’s Capacity With 50M Investment

June 22, 2011

Having recently unveiled new packaging and advertising and a new 81-proof variant for its Wild Turkey Bourbon, Gruppo Campari is set to double the brand’s capacity with a $50 million distillery investment, being unveiled today. Wild Turkey’s new 134,000-square foot distillery is capable of producing 11 million proof gallons annually, up from 5 million at its previous distillery, which originally opened in 1869. The first aged Bourbon from the Lawrenceburg, Kentucky facility will hit shelves in 2016.

Campari’s investment is one of the largest in Bourbon country in years. Beam Global, with an investment in the tens of millions to boost its Maker’s Mark production 50% by 2013, has also targeted its Bourbon facilities for upgrades recently, as has Heaven Hill. Buoyed by premium brands like Maker’s and Woodford Reserve, as well as flavored extensions like Wild Turkey American Honey and Red Stag by Jim Beam, the category has seen a bit of a renaissance lately.

After acquiring Wild Turkey from Pernod Ricard for $575 million in 2009, Campari has been intent on turning the formerly declining brand around in the U.S. and expanding its presence in other key markets like Australia and Japan. In the U.S., Campari subsidiary Skyy Spirits succeeded in flattening Wild Turkey out last year at around 550,000 cases, and the Bourbon label is seeing some growth in 2011.

“The American whiskey category is showing healthy growth in the low single digits, and in a season that’s not a particularly apt one for Bourbon in general,” Skyy group brand director Umberto Luchini recently told Shanken News Daily. “Wild Turkey is in line with the category’s performance, and we’re expecting sustained growth in the second half of the year.”

 

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