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US: Beam and Cola to launch in May

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The Jim Beam Brands, the drinks division of Fortune Brands, has released details of the launch of its upcoming RTD brand Beam and Cola, which is set to be available in selected markets across the US on 1st May.

Unlike Smirnoff Ice and a number of other RTDs in the US, which are malt-based, Beam and Cola will contain its parent brand Jim Beam. And the company appears keen to market this point heavily.

"This is not a flash in the pan, fly by night new product idea," said Tom Hernquist, senior vice president of marketing, Jim Beam Brands Worldwide. "The new Beam and Cola ready-to-drink product takes the most popular way of consuming Jim Beam Bourbon and puts it in a convenient, high quality and refreshing format."

Beginning May 1, Beam and Cola will be available in Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Texas. These seven states were chosen for initial distribution because they make up one-third of the core brand's sales. Jim Beam also said it was exploring opportunities to expand distribution of Beam and Cola in 2004.

The Beam and Cola launch will be supported by a comprehensive marketing plan, including advertising and local promotions. The advertising campaign, which launches in April, will focus on the "Real" ingredients of Jim Beam Bourbon and cola and will be featured in targeted weekly newspapers, outdoor and spot radio.

Beam and Cola has already been available in Australia for more than a decade where it has proven to be successful.


Companies: Fortune Brands

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