By James Atkinson

Jim Beam RTDs are well on the way to recovery from a failed experiment with four-packs, according to Coca-Cola Amatil director of licensed and alcohol, Shane Richardson, who has also revealed a more dedicated approach by the company to the premium spirits brands in its portfolio.

In an interview at the recent Australian Liquor Stores Association (ALSA) Conference, Richardson told TheShout that the Beam RTDs had experienced strong growth in the last couple of months since they were reinstated to the proven six-pack format.

“We‘ve started to cycle what we were doing last year with a reinstated portfolio,” he said.

“We tried something different. A lot of people questioned the strategy of changing from six packs to four packs and looking to try and inject some excitement into the brand and create a new purchase opportunity… it didn’t have the desired results.”

Meanwhile, Richardson said CCA has been evolving its business model to better cater for the premium whisky brands it has available through the Beam partnership. 

“What we’re doing in effect is we’re putting two gears within the organisation. We need to continually deliver on the big brands, but at the same time, incubate the brands of the future,” he said.

“I think CCA’s a big organisation with an incredible structure of sales and distribution, our networks are very strong.”

“We’re very good with the big brands, our ability to execute and put something in the market is outstanding, we can do it overnight.”

“But when it’s a little bit more personal, a bit more hand sell, that’s one of the areas we need to evolve,” Richardson said.

Under the new approach, CCA has appointed ambassadors in each state, such as whisky aficionado Dan Woolley, who is representing the Beam brands in Queensland.

“Our portfolio of premium whiskies is unrivalled and when you look at the quality of individuals we’ve got as brand ambassadors who wanted to come and work for us because of the products we sell, it’s quite exciting,” said Richardson.

“Dan Woolley’s a good example, a guy who’s renowned as one of the best whisky experts in this country. He wanted to join the team because he saw the quality of the portfolio.”

Richardson said the objective of the ambassadors is to “get the dust off the bottles on the shelves”.

“Cocktails like The Penicillin, which was created by Sam Ross in New York, are a great example where brands like Laphroaig are being used in a non-traditional way. Our team are working hard to help consumers discover new ways to drink a little better here in Australia.”

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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1 Comment

  1. With the Suntory Beam deal, CCA are panicing, even if the contract has a way to go Suntory will be looking for ways to get CCA out, as CCA has been arrogant with retailers and consumers. The longer the Beam brands stay with CCA, the more work Suntory will have in rebuilding the brands.

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