Targeting 1-Million-Case Mark, William Grant Backs Tullamore Dew With $50 Million DistilleryMarch 28, 2012
With competition heating up in Irish whiskey—one of the global spirits market’s hottest categories—William Grant & Sons is making a major play to ramp up and gain greater control of production for its Tullamore Dew brand. The company is set to invest €35 million ($47m) in a new distillery for Tullamore Dew, the second-leading Irish whiskey in the world after Pernod Ricard’s Jameson. The state-of-the-art pot still and malt whiskey distillery will be located on a 58-acre site on the outskirts of the town of Tullamore, where the original Tullamore Dew distillery closed in 1954.
William Grant & Sons, which currently contracts Tullamore Dew’s production out to Pernod’s Irish Distillers unit, said the investment would meet long-term production demands for the brand.
William Grant acquired Tullamore Dew from C&C Group in 2010. The brand’s global sales have been growing at around 15% annually, reaching just under 700,000 cases in 2011—nearly double the volume it sold in 2005. Tullamore Dew is projected to reach 1 million cases globally within the next three years.
In the U.S., by far the world’s largest Irish whiskey market, Tullamore Dew sells over 70,000 cases and has shown steady growth. It ranks third among Irish whiskies behind Jameson and Diageo’s Bushmills. (The U.S. accounts for around 30% of global Irish whiskey sales, and both Jameson and Bushmills do 30%-35% of their business in the United States.) Given that Irish whiskey’s annual growth rate in the U.S. market is now at around 20%, Tullamore Dew appears to have plenty of upside. William Grant & Sons recently unveiled a new TV and print campaign for the brand under the tagline “Irish True,” and it will debut new packaging in July.Subscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning.