Bourbon is the new gin? Growing 3 digits, Beam Suntory bets that sim


For a few years now, gin has fallen into Brazilian tastes, no longer being restricted to specific tastes to become the darling spirit of practically every party. The success of the English drink not only proved that Brazilians are open to novelties but also inspires the path of other drinks that intend to conquer their space in our market. And one of the highlights of this race is the whiskey.

In 2020, the year of pandemic, Beam Suntory, the third largest producer of spirits in the world, saw its whiskey sales soar in Brazil: from January to August alone, Jim Bean grew 200%, while Marker’s Mark, a super premium artisan , sold almost 500% more in the same period – numbers in line with the growth of competitor Diageo, which bought that whiskey is really gaining strength in the national market.

For Walter Celli, CEO of Bean Suntory, this growth is explained by the “premiumnization” of consumption during the pandemic, when consumers sought more premium labels and, in this movement, ended up discovering Jim Bean, “who ranks right above the leader of the category”. No wonder the country is now among the 10 priority markets for the brand in the world.

“In Brazil, whiskey has been on the sidelines for some time. But looking closely at the category, you can see American whiskeys, bourbons, taking space from traditional Scottish ones”, comments Celli, who since 2019 has invested in its own commercial team in the main markets in Brazil and also signed a distribution agreement with Ambev, which makes Jim Beam and Marker’s Mark reach across the country.