Pinnacle Vodka eyes overseas expansion

10th June, 2014 by Becky Paskin

Pinnacle Vodka, the 40-strong flavoured vodka range owned by Beam Suntory, intends to spread its reach outside the US for the first time with global distribution plans for next year.

Pinnacle Whipped Cream Vodka

Pinnacle Whipped is the leading flavour in the Pinnacle Vodka range

Beam Suntory, which bought the brand from White Rock Distilleries in 2012, expects to begin distributing the brand globally from 2015 in regions such as Asia, New Zealand and Australia.

Jason Dolenga, senior brand director for vodka at Beam Suntory, told The Spirits Business the group hopes Pinnacle Vodka will grow to become “the world’s most loved vodka brand; the brand everyone wants to give a hug to”.

“Pinnacle is in every US state as well as Canada and Mexico, but we have global expansion plans beyond North America that we’ll hopefully get to after 2015 and beyond,” he said.

“There are further opportunities in Asia and South America but at this point they are still in the bubbling phases. We aim to be a global brand – that’s what we’re getting after. But there’s a lot of opportunity here in the US so we’re still really focused on the US at this point.”

Pinnacle Vodka, which currently sells 2.7m cases annually in the US, Canada and Mexico alone, counts classic flavours like lemon and strawberry among its portfolio, alongside “confectionary” expressions such as Whipped, Cake and the seasonal Pumpkin Pie.

The brand counts Whipped as its biggest-selling expression, while its launch of Cinnabon in November 2013 is currently delivering a “strong” performance.

Dolenga added that the brand’s extensive portfolio would allow for success in new overseas markets as “you have the ability to go in with what the consumer wants”.

“It’s important to match what we’re doing with what the consumer’s looking for,” he said. “Unless people are just dramatically different, which in some cases there are regional differences, there’s always an opportunity to do something new.

“We have spotted where we are most likely to succeed and that’s where were going to go first.”

Beam bought Pinnacle Vodka from White Rock Distilleries in April 2012 alongside the Calico Jack rum brand for US$605m.

For more on Pinnacle Vodka’s rise, see the June issue of The Spirits Business, out now.

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