Much to the surprise of some in the industry, Beam, Inc., has not been swallowed up by a larger liquor conglomerate. Instead, it’s been Beam that’s done the acquiring of other entities like Pinnacle vodka and Calico Jack rum. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal (content restricted), CEO Matt Shattock talks strategy, the future of bourbon, and the female factor.
“Bourbon is a whiskey that is very mixable and the cocktail culture, particularly traditional cocktails, is fast-growing at the moment,” explains Shattock. “It’s growing in the U.S., Australia, and Germany, which are the second- and third-biggest bourbon markets in the world, but also broadly…. We were the first to introduce a flavored bourbon, called Red Stag, a cherry-infused bourbon, back in 2009. Females participate at twice the rate that they do with the base bourbon.”
As Shattock further elaborates, “This industry has done a poor job up until the past couple of years on really focusing on women. Skinnygirl is an unequivocal female brand and taps into three consumer trends: convenience, the desire for flavor, and calorie counting. We’ve gone from one offering, margarita, to a variety of cocktails. This year we’ve entered two of the biggest areas of consumption for women, wine and vodka.”
Clearly, the future (at least to Shattock) seems to be in flavored drinks—Pinnacle, after all, makes vodkas of all varieties, including Blueberry, Cake, Cherry Lemonade, Cherry Whipped, Chocolate Whipped, Cookie Dough, Cotton Candy, Gummy, Kiwi-Strawberry, Le Double Espresso, Marshmallow, Orange Whipped, Pumpkin Pie, Whipped Cream, and Whipped Key Lime.
Just wait for the Red-Velvet-Chocolate Bourbon—you know it’s only a matter of time.