SPEAK
EASY
ABOUT THE U.S.
THE BEVERAGE NETWORK:
You
have spent time in Asia, Australia and
Brazil. What excites you most about
the opportunity to run the U.S. market
for Pernod Ricard?
BRYAN FRY:
It’s the most lucrative mar-
ket in the world for wine and spirits. Also,
if you look at trends and new products,
they almost always start here. There is a
tremendous willingness among young
people—the Millennial generation—to try
new things. A study recently showed that
spirits represent a much greater share of
consumption in that demographic com-
pared to beer and wine, which is a big shift
from Generation Y and the Baby Boomers,
where wine is more significant.
TBN:
What is the most challenging aspect
of doing business in this country?
BF:
It’s a very complex market. You might
have a hot brand in New York that isn’t
at all popular in Louisiana. Regional dif-
ferences, combined with different state
laws make the U.S. more like 50 separate
countries. But it is a fascinating, rich op-
portunity if you can understand the nu-
ances of each place.
TBN:
Pernod Ricard has unveiled a
number of new products that don’t
necessarily fit into one category. What
is the goal of this type of innovation?
BF:
The Millennial generation again, has
been our biggest motivation to innovate
across categories. For example, Absolut
Tune is a vodka and sparkling wine; Avion
Espresso is a blend of Italian espresso
and tequila; and Malibu Red is a rum and
tequila. When Malibu Red launched in the
U.S., some external parties were skeptical;
now that it has succeeded, other markets
have followed. It’s currently launching in
South Africa, the UK and Australia.
ABOUT ABSOLUT
TBN:
Absolut Tune is a new direction
for the brand. Where and when do you
envision it being consumed?
BF:
We are aiming for two demographics
with this product: Women ages 21 to 32
who are enjoying a night out with the girls,
as well as an older demographic who has
been drinking Absolut for years and has a
PHOTOGRAPH BY ANDREW KIST
Bryan Fry
President & CEO, Pernod Ricard USA
The Beverage Network sits down with Bryan Fry, Pernod Ricard
USA’s new President & CEO, to talk about selling to Millennial
consumers, cross-category innovation and, yes, Irish whiskey.
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