Beam Suntory adds premium Japanese gin to portfolioBy Amy Hopkins
Beam Suntory has confirmed plans to launch a premium Japanese gin, which will be made at its Osaka-based distillery.
The brand, called Roku, contains six Japanese botanicals – cherry blossom, cherry leaves, green tea (sencha), refined green tea (gyokuro), Japanese pepper and yuzu – along with eight other botanicals traditionally used in gin.
The gin, which will launch in Japan in July at an RRP of ¥4,000 (about US$35.00), will be presented in a hexagonal bottle featuring engravings of the six Japanese botanicals.
A spokesperson for Beam Suntory said that Roku gives the company a “very distinctive and competitive gin portfolio”, which also includes Spanish gin Larios and English brand Sipsmith, acquired by Beam Suntory at the end of last year.
“Our three major gin products – Roku, Sipsmith and Larios – offer distinctive taste profiles and provenance stories, and they also compete in different markets and at different price points,” the spokesperson added.
Roku will initially be available in Japan only, but Beam Suntory is “carefully considering opportunities” for a wider roll-out.
Last year, Michael Cockram, Beam Suntory’s global marketing director for travel retail, told The Spirits Business that the company was “looking at opportunities” in Japanese white spirits.
Meanwhile, Takeshi Niinami, president of Suntory Holdings, confirmed that the US and Japan sides of Beam Suntory’s business had “several projects” underway with regards to NPDs.
Japan-based Suntory Holdings acquired US spirits firm Beam Inc for US$16 billion in 2013. Of the deal, Niinami said Suntory and Beam could not become fully integrated until the two units launched collaborative products.