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Pernod Ricard eyes US launch for Method and Madness Irish whiskey as craft comes to fore - just-drinks Exclusive

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Pernod Ricard is to launch its Method and Madness Irish whiskey range in the US next year amid an increased focus on craft spirits.

Method and Madness Irish whiskey was launched in 2017 from Irish Distillers Midleton distillery

Method and Madness Irish whiskey was launched in 2017 from Irish Distillers' Midleton distillery

Speaking to just-drinks yesterday, strategy, insights and innovation director at Pernod's Irish Distillers unit, Brendan Buckley, said a US launch for Method and Madness Irish whiskey should happen in 2020. He said discussions with Pernod's US unit were still at an early stage and it was not yet clear which states the range will launch in first.

"[Method and Madness] is a very different proposition [to other Irish Distillers whiskies], and the US market is fragmenting so if you want to keep share in a fragmenting market you need more propositions," Buckley said.

He also said a lot of Pernod Ricard's regional units are setting up dedicated sales and marketing teams to "handle more craft-style propositions".

It follows the creation by Pernod Ricard of a new reporting segment in its quarterly results called Global Speciality Brands, which includes "smaller-scale craft brands" such as Monkey 47, Redbreast Irish whiskey and the Lillet aperitif. The company unveiled the new segment in its full-year results released in February.

Buckley said: "Globally, we are seeing the rise of craft spirits. We have our priority brands such as Jameson, but the group has woken up to the [craft] opportunity."

Method and Madness Irish whiskey, made at Irish Distillers' Midleton distillery as part of a micro-distillery project, was launched in 2017 and now comprises four expressions. It is on sale in Ireland, the UK, France, Australia and Global Travel Retail. In Ireland, a 70cl bottle of the single grain expressions sells for about EUR50 (US$58).

This week, Pernod Ricard added to the Method and Madness brand with the launch of a gin.

Pernod Ricard plans Irish assault on global gin category with latest Method and Madness launch - Focus


Sectors: Product launches, Spirits

Companies: Pernod Ricard

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