Brown-Forman launched a global push for Southern Comfort

Brown-Forman launched a global push for Southern Comfort

Brown-Forman's Southern Comfort “remains challenged”, an analyst has warned, reversing hopes that a global ad campaign had halted its slide.

Globally, the brand saw a 4% drop in full-year sales, the company announced yesterday (5 June). But while Brown-Forman hailed the performance as an improvement on the previous year's 7% slide, Nomura's Ian Shackleton said the liqueur is still in trouble.

“The Southern Comfort family of brands remains challenged ... mainly driven by consumer weakness in its international markets, which more than offset positive growth in the US,” Shackleton said.

In August, Brown-Forman launched a US ad campaign for the brand that helped sales in the country rebound. The push was quickly rolled out to international markets but despite a “dramatic improvement” in US sales, according to Brown-Forman, global markets have failed to come around.

Brown-Forman said yesterday it will incrementally increase advertising and promotional spend for Southern Comfort to revive its growth.

Meanwhile, Shackleton suggested Brown-Forman is unlikely to target acquisitions in the near term, but could later expand its portfolio with Scotch or Irish whisk(e)y.