Food & Drinks

Pernod Ricard transitions Plymouth gin, Irish whiskey brands in US

Pernod Ricard is handing the US importation and marketing of four lower-profile spirits brands to a newly-formed subsidiary of Biggar & Leith, the company Pernod acquired the Malfy Gin brand from two years ago.

The importation and marketing of Pernod Ricard’s Plymouth Gin in the US will be the responsibility of Lafayette Imports

Framed as a “collaboration”, Pernod confirmed to just-drinks that Lafayette Imports will take on the import and marketing responsibilities for Plymouth Gin as well as Powers, Knappogue Castle and Clontarf Irish whiskey brands. The move, which takes effect next month, will kick off in the US.

When asked by just-drinks, a spokesperson said Pernod’s US operations will retain an interest in the brands in a back-office capacity.

Today’s news stems from several brand purchases by Pernod. Having snapped up Malfy Gin from Lafayette’s parent in April 2019, the company inherited Knappogue Castle and Clontarf through the acquisition of Castle Brands four months later.

Pernod Ricard CEO Alex Ricard said today: “Plymouth, Powers, Knappogue Castle and Clontarf have strong potential in growing categories. This dedicated and fit-for-purpose approach allows these brands to have renewed development and to meet new consumers. [Pernod divisions] The Gin Hub and Irish Distillers global brand companies will work closely with Lafayette Imports to support this innovative approach.”

just-drinks understands that despite none of the four brands featuring in the company’s ‘Strategic International Brands’ stable, Pernod has no intention of offloading them to a new owner.

“Powers is the sleeping giant of Irish whiskey” – just-drinks speaks to Irish Distillers global marketing director Brendan Buckley

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