(this news brief was posted by Shanken News Daily on October 31, 2011) Pernod Ricard USA has unveiled two spirits innovations in recent days: Malibu Red, and Jameson Black Barrel. Malibu Red, slated to appear in the U.S. in early 2012, is a blend of coconut rum and silver Tequila. It was developed in collaboration with R&B singer and actor Ne-Yo, who will promote the new offering through a long-term partnership with Pernod. Malibu Red is 70-proof—higher than Malibu’s core 42-proof label. Its price hasn’t been released, but it will retail at a premium to the core brand’s $14 a 750-ml. Pernod expects Malibu Red to “expand Malibu usage year-round and into new occasions,” namely “nightclubs and high-energy accounts.” The company will back the new launch with TV, print, online and out-of-home ads, as well as exclusive multimedia content featuring Ne-Yo.
Malibu, which slid by around 70,000 cases in the U.S. market from 2007-2009, resumed growth last year (rising 1.9% to 1.64 million cases), and has seen continued revitalization so far this year, Pernod says. Global net sales for the brand were up 17% in the three months through September. (Malibu does about half of its global business in the U.S.)
Meanwhile, Pernod has introduced an upscale extension to its soaring Jameson Irish whiskey brand, Jameson Select Reserve Black Barrel. Black Barrel is blended from small-batch grain whiskey, triple-distilled on one occasion each year, matured in flame-charred Bourbon oak casks, and finally blended with single pot still Irish whiskey to create the final product, which sells for roughly $35 a bottle. Jameson, which now sells over 1 million cases in the U.S. annually—or 71% of its global total—continues to see torrid growth at the super-premium price tier, with U.S. net sales rising 53% in the recently completed third quarter.