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Beam CEO: e-commerce is ‘long-term opportunity’

Maker’s Mark owner Beam Suntory saw e-commerce grow exponentially throughout 2020 and will look to capitalise on increasing demand for online sales beyond the pandemic, according to the company’s CEO.

Beam Suntory CEO Albert Baladi said e-commerce provides a “long-term opportunity”

As lockdown measures were enforced to stem the spread of Covid-19, with bars ordered to close and consumers told to stay home, imbibers turned to online shopping.

Beam Suntory said the move online has presented “unexpected opportunities” for the producer.

CEO Albert Baladi said: “For instance, from on-premise to off-premise, aided by platforms such as e-commerce, [sales] have grown exponentially. E-commerce and home delivery are now allowed in many parts of India, where they were banned only a few months ago.

“We are excited about the long-term opportunity in e-commerce and are working to ensure we are capturing our share of this growth during Covid-19 and beyond.”

Baladi said Beam Suntory has also “adjusted to the changing on-premise landscape in the US” and the development of cocktails to-go across the US, which were branded a “lifeline” by trade body the Distilled Spirits Council of the US.

“We are doing all we can to support our customers in this developing space while also providing a safe, enjoyable experience for consumers,” he said.

Beam Suntory also sought to engage with drinkers online amid the pandemic, as brand ambassadors and brand education teams worked to “engage people, stakeholders, and consumers with our products”, according to Baladi.

Baladi added: “I’m extremely proud of this organisation and the commitment, dedication, perseverance and agility all of our employees have shown during the pandemic – it’s because of our people that we continue to be successful, despite the challenges 2020 has presented us.”

Earlier this week, Beam Suntory appointed former Diageo executive Heather Boyd as managing director for its ready-to-drink business in the US.

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