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Beam Suntory sales rise by 11% in 2021

Maker’s Mark owner Beam Suntory saw sales increase by 11% last year, with double-digit growth in key markets such as China and India.

Beam Suntory owns Maker's Mark
Maker’s Mark achieved B Corp certification last year

The Jim Beam producer also reported an 11% increase in sales over the past two years, highlighting the company’s ‘strong growth’ compared with the pre-pandemic year of 2019. In 2020, Beam Suntory recorded stagnant sales.

The firm said its 2021 revenue was boosted by ‘sustained strength’ in the off-trade, as well as a ‘very strong’ performance in markets where hospitality venues reopened faster than expected.

“We’re immensely proud of the results our business has been able to deliver in the face of historical challenges related to the pandemic, including on-premise closures and supply chain constraints,” said Albert Baladi, president and CEO of Beam Suntory.

“Our results underscore the strength of our premiumisation strategy that relies on exceptional quality, superior storytelling, and executional excellence across consumer touchpoints.”

Beam Suntory reported double-digit growth in China, India, Germany, Russia, Spain, emerging Asia and global travel retail. The company has set billion-dollar goals for China and India by 2030.

Sales in the US reached high single digits, led by ‘robust demand’ for the company’s premium brands.

Japan’s sales were up by mid-single digits, bolstered by strong demand for ready-to-drink (RTD) products like -196˚, but the market was impacted by prolonged on-trade restrictions, the group explained.

Beam Suntory also revealed double-digit growth for many of its brands, including Bourbon brands Maker’s Mark, Basil Hayden’s, Knob Creek, Booker’s and Legent; Scotch whiskies Laphroaig, Bowmore and Auchentoshan; and Japanese whiskies Hibiki, Hakushu and Toki.

Gin brands Sipsmith and Suntory Roku, and Tequilas El Tesoro and Hornitos also rose by double digits, while the firm’s recently acquired RTD brand On The Rocks showed ‘exceptional growth’, Beam Suntory noted.

The company said its flagship Jim Beam Bourbon brand achieved ‘solid growth’ despite glass supply constraints that affected certain bottle sizes.

In July last year, Beam Suntory and The Boston Beer Company formed a ‘strategic’ partnership to create Sauza Tequila RTDs and expand hard seltzer brand Truly into the spirits sector.

Truly recently unveiled its first vodka range, comprising three varieties inspired by its popular seltzer flavours: Strawberry Lemonade, Wild Berry and Pineapple Mango.

Truly Flavored Vodka (35% ABV) is due to hit US shelves next month, available in 50ml, 375ml, 750ml and one-litre formats.

Baladi added: “Our confidence in the future is reinforced by the strategic moves we’re making, with accelerated investment in our business – including capacity, capabilities and our sustainability agenda – the 2021 acquisition of our route to market in Spain, and our upcoming joint innovations with Boston Beer.”

Proof Positive update

Beam Suntory launched its Proof Positive sustainability plan in 2021, representing a US$1 billion-plus commitment to tackle green issues and become more inclusive.

The company is aiming to use 100% renewable electricity across its operations by the end of 2022. Furthermore, Sipsmith and Maker’s Mark both achieved B Corp certification last year.

Beam Suntory said it has also boosted its low-and-no portfolio with the launch of products such as Sipsmith Free Glider and the expansion of Lemon Sour Zero.

The group has committed to adding nutritional information to the labels of its key brands across Europe and the US by 2030.

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