ABOUT THE U.S.
THE BEVERAGE NETWORK:
have spent time in Asia, Australia and
Brazil. What excites you most about
the opportunity to run the U.S. market
for Pernod Ricard?
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.
What is the most challenging aspect
of doing business in this country?
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.
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?
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.
Absolut Tune is a new direction
for the brand. Where and when do you
envision it being consumed?
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
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.