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Pernod invests $22m in RTD expansion

Absolut owner Pernod Ricard has invested US$22 million to install its first ready-to-drink (RTD) canning line at the company’s plant in Arkansas, US.

Pernod canning line
Pernod Ricard’s new canning line will produce Jameson Ginger & Lime RTDs

The North American arm of Pernod Ricard installed the new high-speed canning line at its Fort Smith facility.

The investment will provide the facility with canning capabilities and help accelerate growth for the company. It will also create new jobs and bring economic benefits to the local community.

“This investment is an incredible step in strengthening our manufacturing footprint in Fort Smith,” said Pierre Joncourt, senior vice-president, Pernod Ricard North America.

“The high-speed canning line will be instrumental in increasing our production capabilities and swiftly bringing our premium, bar-quality RTDs to market.”

The plant currently produces several Pernod Ricard spirits, including coffee liqueur Kahlua and Seagram’s Gin.

Pernod Ricard said the addition of the canning line will enable the company to produce more RTDs for its portfolio, including Jameson Irish whiskey, Absolut vodka, Malibu liqueur and TX Whiskey, and make its brands more ‘accessible’.

The firm’s RTD portfolio includes Jameson Ginger & Lime, Malibu Pineapple Bay Breeze, Absolut Berry Vodkarita and TX Whiskey & Cola.

“Volume has only continued to increase for our Fort Smith facility and the spirits industry overall,” said Jennifer Anglin, senior operations director for the Fort Smith plant.

“This latest canning line expansion will not only allow us to produce various spirits across our brand portfolio, but more importantly, it will create numerous jobs to keep up with demand.”

Furthermore, the plant recently added eight new 50,000-gallon tanks to assist with production.

The company called the RTD category ‘ultra-convenient, easy to find, easy to carry, easy to store and easy to recycle’.

Pernod Ricard also cited a recent IWSR report, which projected RTDs to be the fastest-growing alcohol category globally over the next five years. The value of the category is expected to increase by an additional US$11.6 billion over the five-year period.

Pernod Ricard has a 4.2% share of the RTD market in the UK, with “plenty of headroom to grow”, according to the company’s commercial director.

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