Jim Beam chooses UK to debut new Apple variant

Beam has chosen the UK market to exclusively debut its new Jim Beam Apple after hailing it a perfect breeding ground for innovation.

The supplier, which recently merged with Suntory to become the world’s third-largest spirits player, is hoping the new expression will win over younger adults and vodka drinkers.

Jim Beam is growing at 53.5% in the UK (Nielsen and CGA, year to February 2015) with flavour extensions such as Honey, Maple and cherry-flavoured Red Stag driving the growth.

The Apple variant launches in May with an rrp of £19.70 for a 70cl bottle, and it has already won a listing at Morrisons.

Janice McIntosh, Maxxium UK’s marketing controller for imported whiskey, told OLN: “Jim Beam has grown 279% in volume since 2011 as people are looking for a bit more depth of flavour than white spirits, and the new flavours are proving really popular and not cannibalising each other.

“Jim Beam Apple really fills a hole in our portfolio. We have always tried to innovate and drive trends and we are continuing that now. Hopefully this will really add to the growth of US whiskey and bourbon.”

Spirits expert David Miles, who works with Jim Beam on an ambassadorial basis, added: “For 30 years the holy grail for all dark spirits companies was how to get younger drinkers and vodka drinkers into the category.

“Everybody tried it and they produced a watered down, weaker version. The likes of J&B Minus Eight, Hennessy Pure White and Remy Silver all failed.

“It was hard because younger drinkers wanted something sweet. It’s what they would add to vodka that made them like it, vodka and coke.

“So Beam went the other way. Instead of a weakened, insipid version, it added something to the whiskey and this has been a great way of encouraging people to try these drinks.”

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