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As the world's third largest premium spirits company, Beam Suntory is Crafting the Spirits Brands that Stir the World. Consumers from all corners of the globe call for the company's brands, including the iconic Jim Beam and Maker's Mark bourbon brands and...
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Chris Bauder, General Manager ...
Chris Bauder, General Manager of Whiskies & Cognacs for Beam Suntory, during the Whiskies & Spirits Conference February 24, 2015 in New York City. Photo ©2015 by Mark Gillespie.
Not true, according to Chris Bauder, general manager of Whiskies and Cognacs for Beam Suntory.
keynote address at last Tuesday's Whiskies
& Spirits Conference in New York City, Bauder
pointed out that US whiskey sales have only risen in three of the last 25 years - the last three.
By comparison, vodka sales have risen in 23 of the last 25 years and tequila sales have risen for 23 consecutive years.
"When people ask if this is a trend that is going to continue, we think it has a very long runway," he
said, citing recent sales figures showing growth among all sectors of the whisky industry.
Listen to Mark Gillespie's interview with Chris Bauder:
Before joining Beam in 2011, Bauder was a senior marketing executive at consumer goods giant S.C.
Johnson & Co.
, and learned quickly that solving the perceived shortage of whisky isn't as simple as that for other products.
"If you want more Windex, you put more chemicals and water together and you get more Windex," he
said in an interview following his
"That was a revelation...wait a minute, how can this allocation be what it is," referring to small supplies of whiskies from Beam Suntory
's distilleries and the need to balance global demand with short supply.
said Beam Suntory
will invest hundreds of millions of dollars over the next several years to expand whisky production at all of its facilities worldwide, but cautioned consumers to expect more whiskies without age statements.
"Everybody...Scotland, Japan, and the US are struggling with this, and one of the things that's been encouraging is brands like (The) Macallan which first did it have actually been quite successful because the liquid's good and the way they blend has actually given them a good taste, plus the concept around the naming has been really interesting to consumers."
"I think talking people away from age statements is helpful...it's an easy way to think older is better, but brands like Maker's Mark or Woodford Reserve haven't traded in age statements and they're doing just fine."
In 2014, Beam Suntory
removed the 8-year-old age statement from its Jim Beam Black Bourbon and introduced the no-age-statement Laphroaig Select, and Bauder
said that practice will be extended to Beam Suntory
's Hibiki range this year.
"You're going to see your first one coming in July of this year in the US, and they're going to be launching in April in Japan.
also confirmed that Beam Suntory
plans to expand its Japanese whisky portfolio across the US.
In the past, Suntory
and its US importers focused on a handful of major cities, but part of the reason for Suntory's
$16 billion acquisition of Beam in 2014 was to expand the footprint for its Japanese whiskies as well as acquire new brands for global distribution.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to remove Chris Bauder's
reference to a Yamazaki Sherry Cask bottling being planned for a US release in 2015.
Whiskies and Spirits Conference Homepage
The day began with an inspirational presentation by Chris Bauder, General Manager and Vice President, Beam Suntory Whiskey & Cognac, who had much to say about the benefits of family values within a business, irrespective of its size and global footprint.
Chris Bauder, General ...
Chris Bauder, General Manager and Vice President, Beam Suntory Whiskey & Cognac
Beam Suntory News
"We've led the category in flavor innovation in recent years with Red Stag by Jim Beam, Jim Beam Maple and Jim Beam Honey, but our latest flavor certainly turns up the heat," said Chris Bauder, General Manager of Whiskies at Beam Suntory.
Purple Falcon - Jim Beam Taps Into New Flavor With Jim Beam Maple
"Jim Beam Maple - as with Jim Beam Honey - is an innovative flavor-infused bourbon that was developed to offer our fans a different whiskey option and the opportunity to try a new, creative shot or cocktail," said Chris Bauder, General Manager of Whiskies at Beam Inc.