In a bid to expand its top whisky, Japanese distillery Kirin has contracted the services of French distributor and distillery, Pernod Ricard. The agreement with Kirin Brewery Company will propel the distribution of its Japanese whisky brand, Fuji, in Europe.
According to a spokesperson from Kirin, the distribution deal came into effect last July 2023, granting Pernod Ricard the distribution rights for the Fuji brand in 13 European markets, including France, Italy, and Poland.
In addition, the Paris-headquarter of Pernod Ricard expressed confidence in the list expansion to other facets pf its distribution markets in the future.
Moreover, Kirin has been upbeat about the unique essence of the famed spirit. Fuji is produced at the Fuji Gotemba Distillery, Gotemba, on the lower ridge of Mount Fuji, Shizuoka Prefecture. There are three distinct presentations of the brand:
- Single grain
- Single malt
- blended whiskies
Furthermore, Kirin has huge plans for the Fuji brand. Within three years of its launch in Japan, the company is looking to the international markets beyond Asia and thus is relying on the large distribution network powered by Pernod Ricard.
The distillery foresees Fuji as its ‘ambassador for the Japanese whisky category around the world’.
Notwithstanding, there has tremendous growth in the super-premium-plus Japanese whisky category at approximately 20% by volume in the global markets – not including Japan. A report released by IWSR Drinks Market Analysis figures of the last 10 years.
However, this is not the only working agreement between the two distilleries. A former deal granted Pernod Ricard distribution rights of Kirin’s Four Roses Kentucky Bourbon brand in Europe and the world.
In a sign of progress and growth, on late June 2-23, Lion, the Australasian arm of Japanese Kirin, acquired Australian distillery, Four Pillars. The value of the merger remains undisclosed.
Yet, it is not only Kirin that has been expanding. In February 2020, Pernod Ricard augmented its local investments through the Japan-based The Kyoto Distillery, creator of the renowned Ki No Bi gin.