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Brown-Forman unveils UK vision for American whiskey

Brown-Forman has unveiled a new vision for American whiskey, outlining the company’s strategy to grow the category and tap into its potential growth in the UK.

Brown-Forman American Whiskey
Brown-Forman is aiming to grow the American whiskey category in the UK with the launch of a new “vision”

Entitled “Welcome to the World of American Whiskey: The Story of Man and Oak”, the vision is education-focused and seeks to build a clearer understanding of the category amongst the trade and consumers.

According to Nielsen figures, the American whiskey category is currently worth over £540 million in the UK, growing at 14.8%. Whiskey in the on trade remains significant due to the continuing trends for premiumisation, casual dining and craft cocktail culture. As part of its new vision, Brown-Forman has identified and is targeting areas in which the category is currently under-trading.

Understanding style and flavour

Brown-Forman is providing advice to help its on-trade customers ensure that they offer an appropriate range of American whiskey styles and flavour profiles to maximise sales.

The company has also developed a flavour code that identifies three distinct profiles: Laid back & Mellow, Full & Spicy and Big & Bold. These can be applied across the category to highlight different styles. The resulting flavour map has been designed to allow bars and restaurants to select a product range to suit their establishment and clientele.

Brown-Forman has also highlighted the importance of including well-known brands as important volume drivers and signposts for the category on the back bar. This further encourages consumers to discover and explore the category in more detail.

“Premium spirits are driving value in the on trade and American whiskey is absolutely key to this growth, making this a very exciting time for the category,” said Crispin Stephens, head of commercial planning and activation for Bacardi Brown-Forman Brands.

“As the category leader, Brown-Forman is committed to ensuring growth is maintained by supporting our customers in their efforts to engage and educate consumers; with this new vision, we hope to revolutionise the way our customers approach management of the category and give them the tools to unlock the great potential of American whiskey.

“American whiskeys have great stories to tell and we have invested significant resources in doing so through the American Whiskey Vision, which takes an impartial category approach to ensure its credibility with our customers. The response from customers so far has been overwhelmingly positive as they realise the potential commercial value that a new approach to American Whiskey category management could bring.”

The company will take the campaign on the road over the next year, showcasing its vision for the category among its UK customers.

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