By James Atkinson

Italian liquor giant Campari has reported strong sales growth in Australia and New Zealand over the first nine months of 2011, driven largely by the performance of the Wild Turkey brand.

Most notably, the Wild Turkey ready-to-drink category grew by 131 per cent in the local market, which Campari regional director Shane Richardson attributed to the repackaging of the existing RTD line and the addition of the 101 Premium Blend.

"The whole campaign around 'Give 'em the Bird' has been very well received in this country," he told TheShout.

Richardson (pictured) said the campaign's double entendre had created a "cool story behind the brand" that had clearly resonated with bourbon consumers.

The American Honey liqueur was also a strong performer, growing by 41.5 per cent in the US and Australia.

Richardson credited this result to an extensive sampling program he said had demonstrated that when consumers taste American Honey they invariably like the flavour.

Acquired by Campari Australia in 2009, Wild Turkey grew by 32.9 per cent globally, with sales of the core brand up by 8.5 per cent with positive results in the US, Australia and Japan.

Campari reported a 48 per cent sales increase in its 'rest of the world' business segment, which includes the Australian and New Zealand operations along with global travel retail sales and accounted for 9 per cent of total group sales.

The company attributed the increase to organic growth of 33.3%, "driven by good consumption trends in the whole brand portfolio as well as the transition to the newly established distribution platform in the key Australian market".

The Shout Team

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

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