Phillips Distilling buys liqueur brands from Beam SuntoryBy Nicola Carruthers
Maker’s Mark owner Beam Suntory has sold its Leroux brandy and Kamora coffee liqueur brands to Phillips Distilling Company for an undisclosed sum.
Minnesota-based Phillips Distilling Co, owner of brands such as UV Vodka and Prairie Organic Spirits, said the acquisition will complement the company’s portfolio and solidify its position as the market leader in the cordials and liqueurs categories.
The company is said to have a long history in liqueurs and cordials, having introduced Peppermint Schnapps in the 1930s and Root Beer Schnapps in 1984 to the US.
Phillips Distilling Co also owns the Sour Puss and Butter Ripple brands, which are described as some of Canada’s best-selling liqueurs.
“The consumption of cordials and liqueurs in the United States continues to grow steadily and Phillips Distilling has always been at the forefront of innovation in this category,” said Andy England, CEO of Phillips Distilling Company.
“Acquiring Leroux and Kamora is a natural fit for what we do best. We’re exceptional at differentiating flavour profiles and running small batches and changeovers that are critical to being successful in cordials and liqueurs.
“With our history and expertise in this category this new acquisition will solidify our position as a market leader and gives us a fresh perspective to add to our expert blending and flavours teams.”
The Leroux family started producing cordials in Brussels more than four generations ago. Currently produced in the US, the Leroux range includes 19 liqueurs and eight flavoured brandies.
The brand’s flagship product, Polish Blackberry Brandy, is described as one of the top-selling brandies in the States.
Phillips Distilling Co said the Kamora brand is the second best-selling coffee liqueur in the US and Canada.
According to the 2021 Adams Liquor Handbook cited by Phillips Distilling Co, the liqueurs and cordials category grew by 3.1% in 2020 to become the third-largest spirit category.
From 2009-2020, consumption volume increased from 20.1 million nine-litre cases to 26.3m, boosted by the popularity of at-home gatherings and the rise of mixology.
Beam Suntory’s president for North America, Greg Hughes, said in a statement: “Beam Suntory has entered into an agreement to sell the Leroux and Kamora brands to Phillips Distributing Company, which we believe is the right home to support these brands in the future. We remain committed to supporting the growth of our portfolio of iconic brands that are loved by consumers around the world.”
The deal is expected to close by the end of 2021.
In August this year, Phillips Distilling Company unveiled a new vodka brand that is designed to be stored in the freezer – a ‘world first’ for the category.