Brown-Forman confirmed today that it has reached agreement in principle with the Asahi Group to distribute its brands in Japan as of January 1, 2013. The announcement follows one by Suntory stating that Brown-Forman and Suntory are concluding their more than 40-year business relationship at the conclusion of the current contract, which is December 31, 2012.
Asahi is a 120-year-old company that is best known for producing, marketing and selling some of Japan’s best known beer brands, including Super Dry, the number one selling beer in Japan, but which also produces, markets, and sells a variety of whiskeys, shochus, wines, and RTDs. Brown-Forman already works with Asahi in Australia, as it owns the Schweppes Company that serves as co-packer for the company’s RTD brands.
“Brown-Forman is delighted to be partnering with Asahi in Japan,” said Mark McCallum, chief operating officer for Brown-Forman. “Our Jack Daniel’s and Early Times brands are two of the largest selling international whiskey brands in Japan and, in partnership with Asahi, Japan’s largest and most successful beverage alcohol company, we see significant growth potential for these brands as well as the rest of our strong brand portfolio.”
For more than 140 years, Brown-Forman Corporation has enriched the experience of life by responsibly building fine quality beverage alcohol brands, including Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Southern Comfort, Finlandia, Jack Daniel’s & Cola, Canadian Mist, Korbel, Gentleman Jack, el Jimador, Herradura, Sonoma-Cutrer, Chambord, New Mix, Tuaca, and Woodford Reserve. Brown-Forman’s brands are supported by nearly 4,000 employees and sold in approximately 160 countries worldwide. For more information about the Company, please visit http://www.brown-forman.com/.