In the 2023 National Liquor News Industry Leaders Forum, Brown-Forman discusses what is responsible for its strategy of success.
For Brown-Forman, 2022 was a unique year of opportunities alongside challenges. Overall, Managing Director, Eveline Albarracin, says that “it was a strong year for our business on a number of fronts.”
“When I reflect on the past year, there is so much to be proud of across our brands, our partnerships, and of course our brilliant people – the bedrock to our success,” she says.
One highlight for Brown-Forman was receiving Great Place To Work certification in October 2022.
“This independent authority on workplace culture recognised our team for operating with clear purpose, for putting people first and for truly championing diversity and inclusion – qualities I am inspired by every day,” said Albarracin.
When it came to the Brown-Forman portfolio of brands, Jack Daniel’s was one high performer across 2022, with Albarracin noting how it maintained its position as “number one spirits trademark in the Australian market”.
Some great examples of NPD could be responsible for this, with Brown-Forman launching Jack Daniel’s Bonded, a super-premium 50 per cent ABV offering from one single distilling season and a first for the brand in 25 years; and Jack Daniel’s Apple and Soda, a lighter profile RTD using the Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Apple Whiskey Liqueur.
Jack Daniel’s is predicted to continue on a journey of success into 2023, as part of a number of new brand initiatives for Brown- Forman. This includes Jack Daniel’s partnership with the McLaren Formula One team, to expand the brand to a new set of consumers while focusing on responsible drinking.
Albarracin continued: “Our recent acquisition of the ultra-premium Gin Mare brand will help accelerate growth of our light spirits portfolio alongside Fords Gin, tapping into those consumer occasions that call for lighter and more accessible offers. And our acquisition of Diplomatico Rum further boosts our presence in super premium – we look forward to continuing to build this brand across our key channels.”
Albarracin sees Australia’s thirst for spirits deepening in support of such initiatives throughout the next 12 months.
“With the rise of cocktail experimentation, we expect to see continued excitement and trial of spirits from existing consumers, as well as broadening appeal off the back of these new occasions,” she said.
“Tequila is a real standout, now the fastest growing spirits category in Australia, and riding this wave of discovery are our premium brands El Jimador and Herradura, the perfect and vital component for the popular Margarita cocktail trend.”
In 2022, as we moved further away from the pandemic, Brown-Forman saw strong demand for locally produced RTD products. With continued economic uncertainty on the cards, Albarracin does believe performance of ultra-booming categories like this will normalise, but Brown-Forman will be ready.
She said: “As we enter a ‘post-pandemic’ era, we remain committed to leading with innovative and creative thinking, ensuring we continue to build relevance with evolving consumer cohorts, and working closely with our suppliers and partners to deliver sustainable growth.”