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News Briefs for October 18, 2016

October 18, 2016

•Beam Suntory has revealed plans to pour $1 billion into its Kentucky Bourbon operations over the next five years. According to the Louisville Business Journal, Suntory Holdings Ltd. CEO Takeshi Niinami told a Japan/American Society of Kentucky luncheon yesterday that the outlay won’t cover new capital investment, but rather will fund ongoing operating costs at its Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark distilleries amid the U.S. market’s Bourbon boom. Niinami also noted that Bourbon’s current renaissance hasn’t been limited to the U.S. Jim Beam Bourbon now sells more than half-a-million cases in Japan, up from 30,000 cases in 2012, he said. In related news, Jim Beam workers have gone on strike at two facilities in Clermont and Boston, Kentucky, although the company says it has contingency plans in place to to allow operations to continue.

•Jägermeister is rolling out a new bottle design across its entire range, from 50-ml. up to its 1.75-liter bottles. The redesign features a taller bottle with higher square shoulders, a more realistic stag icon, framed label and new copy with information on the product. The enhanced cap also now bears the signature of founder Curt Mast with the founding year of 1878. Marketed in the U.S. by Mast-Jägermeister subsidiary Sidney Frank Importing, the liqueur brand was down 8.7% to about 1.7 million cases last year, according to Impact Databank.

•Australia’s Calabria Family Wines has acquired a Griffith, New South Wales-based production facility, previously owned by The Wine Group, for an undisclosed sum. Located in Australia’s Riverina agricultural region, the site has a crushing capacity of 22,000 tons. The Calabria family, whose portfolio includes the Calabria Bros., 3 Bridges, Richland, Nine Stones and Whistling Duck brands, among others, says the deal will further boost its exports, which currently account for around 70% of production.

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