US: Beam Inc lowers Maker's Mark abv as demand rises

By | 11 February 2013

Beam says Markers Mark tastes the same

Beam says Marker's Mark tastes the same

Beam Inc is reducing the alcohol content of Maker's Mark to help keep pace with a spike in demand.

The US company told just-drinks today (11 February) the Bourbon will fall from 45 to 42% abv, with the lower-alcohol bottles on shelves "in the coming weeks". Asked if there will be a price change, a spokesperson said Beam does not discuss its pricing strategy for competitive reasons.

The company said the decision was made after demand outstripped Beam's production capacity. “We never imagined that the entire Bourbon category would explode as it has over the past few years, nor that demand for Maker’s Mark would grow even faster,” Beam COO Rob Samuels wrote in a letter to the company's customer community on Saturday.

Samuels said the new formula is “completely consistent with the taste profile” of Maker's Mark's original recipe and the rest of the production process remains unchanged.

In full-year results released last week, Beam said Maker's Mark posted a 15% year-on-year sales growth in 2012. The company has been trying since at least 2009 to reduce Maker's Mark's reliance on the US market. “We believe America's native spirit has a bright future around the world,” Beam said.

The Beam spokesperson said today that the US is "by far the largest market for Maker’s Mark and demand has been tremendous".

Expert analysis

Beam Inc. (BEAM) - Financial and Strategic SWOT Analysis Review

Beam Inc. (Beam), formerly known as Fortune Brands, Inc, is a premium spirits company. The company offers branded distilled spirits products. The product portfolio of the company consists of bourbon whiskey, Scotch whisky, Canadian whisky, tequila, cognac, rum, cordials, and ready-to-drink pre-mixed cocktails. The renowned brands offered by the company include Jim Beam Bourbon, Canadian Club Whisky, Maker’s Mark Bourbon, Sauza Tequila, Courvoisier Cognac, Teacher’s Scotch, Laphroaig Scotch, Knob Creek Bourbon, Cruzan Rum, Basil Hayden’s Bourbon, Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey, Hornitos Tequila, Skinnygirl Cocktails, EFFEN Vodka, Pucker Vodka and Sourz Liqueurs among others. The company’s major markets includes North America, Australia and Europe, and also maintains presence in the markets of India, Brazil, Russia, Central Europe, Asia, and other geographies. The company is headquartered in Illinois, the US. The company is expanding its operations as evident from its recent acquisition related agreement with White Rock Distilleries to acquire the fast-growing Pinnacle Vodka and Calico Jack rum brands and other related assets for $605m in cash.

Sectors: Spirits

Companies: Beam Inc

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