Editor's Viewpoint – Jameson: Fishing Where the Fish Are
Around 45% of Jameson's total sales hail from the US
At Pernod Ricard's Capital Markets Day, held at the Jameson distillery in Midleton, Ireland, today (4 June), it was all about Jameson. Previous events, which comprise Pernod senior executives presenting to analysts and media, have tended to focus on particular regions or particular categories for the company. Today, however, it has centred on one particular brand.
There can be no denying that Jameson, the fourth largest brand in Pernod's portfolio in terms of profits, has been a success story for the company since it acquired Irish Distillers - and the Jameson brand - in 1988. Sure enough, Anna Malmhake, the CEO of Irish Distillers, was most keen to present some impressive numbers: The Irish whiskey market leader accounts for 64% of the category, and is fast approaching 5m case-sales per year.
What was not clearly highlighted throughout the morning's presentations, however, was the brand's strong reliance on one market. The US accounts for a staggering 45% of Jameson net sales; way back in second place is Russia, with around 11%.
Were this to be one of the BRIC markets rather than the US, the alarm bells would have been sounding for quite a while in Midleton. One need only look at Remy Cointreau and, indeed, Pernod's Martell Cognac brand in China as examples of the dangers of over-reliance on one market.
Thankfully, for Pernod, the US is far more developed and, subsequently, more stable than the emerging markets of the world. And, all 50 states are posting double-digit growth for Jameson. It is safe to say, then, that Pernod is unlikely to look as intently to the BRIC markets to hit the brand's growth targets.
Why on earth would it?
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