Jameson Says Thanks A Million To U.S. Consumers

New York, NY (Dec. 20, 2010) -- Jameson Irish Whiskey, the fastest growing premium spirits brand in the United States, has experienced phenomenal success since 1988, when Pernod Ricard acquired from Irish Distillers what then was a 115,000-case-per-year brand. Today, Jameson, which is distilled in Midleton, Co. Cork, Ireland by Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard, announced annual sales of 1 million cases in the U.S., its largest export market, and annual sales of 3 million cases globally.

“Much of Jameson’s organic growth can be attributed to its unrivalled smooth taste – which results from triple distillation – and the brand’s rich, authentic heritage,” said Wayne Hartunian, Vice President of Marketing for Whiskies and Cognac, Pernod Ricard USA. “The smooth taste means that Jameson is a very versatile whiskey that appeals to today’s premium spirit drinkers, as they can choose to drink it straight or mixed. The brand’s latest sales milestone of 1 million cases in the U.S. and 3 million cases globally can also be directly attributed to the strong advocacy base within its target audience. Jameson consumers truly embrace the brand’s intrinsic quality, taste and heritage.”

Alexandre Ricard, CEO, Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard, commented: “We are delighted with the progress of Jameson in the U.S. and around the world. Jameson passes these milestones during a time of global economic downturn, thereby demonstrating its popularity and elevated status.” Ricard continued: “As well as our increasingly valuable consumer connections, it is the passion of the people behind the Jameson brand that is one of the greatest reasons for our success. Combine this with the global reach of Pernod Ricard and you have great potential for success across many markets. We are delighted that Jameson has benefited greatly from being a strategic brand of Pernod Ricard.”

Paul Duffy, President and CEO of Pernod Ricard USA, said it is particularly noteworthy that Jameson is enjoying long-term healthy brand building growth – not driven by price promotion, and resilient through the recession. “The brand still is in its infancy in the U.S., with significant potential for additional growth,” he said.

Duffy added that support from the trade also has been a key factor in Jameson’s U.S. growth, as Pernod Ricard USA Sales and Marketing spread the word to distributors, retailers and bartenders about the product’s high quality and great taste. Some bartenders have gone so far as to brand themselves with a tattoo of the Jameson crest. And retailers are devoting increased shelf space to this profitable, growing brand.

Jameson’s crucial connection with the trade and consumers sits at the heart of a consistent commercial and marketing strategy to build an iconic global spirit brand in the fast growing premium spirits category. This approach has spawned original and distinctive consumer marketing programs, including the “Taste Above All Else” advertising campaign, of which the first TV ad focuses on the legend of John Jameson and the great storm of 1780. Since its launch last year the ad has proven to be extremely successful and popular.

Hartunian concluded, “Irish Whiskey is the fastest growing spirits category in the U.S. with Jameson leading the charge. Jameson is not only the clear market leader and primary driver of Irish category growth with sales trending at +29%*, but it is also the fastest growing premium spirit brand in the U.S. Jameson has recently added another prestigious award to its collection: Market Watch Spirits Brand of the Year. Being recognized with this award and reaching these sales milestones is a testament to the spirit and integrity of this great brand and all those who have made it a success.”

*Nielsen FDL latest 4 weeks through 11/13/10


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