ITALY – Brown‑Forman Corporation, one of the largest American-owned spirits companies, has unveiled plans to handle the distribution of its brands in Italy starting May 1, 2025. 

This move aims to foster the growth of the company’s portfolio, including globally recognized brands such as the Jack Daniel’s Family, Gin Mare, and Diplomático Rum, in the Italian market. 

Agnieszka Przybylek, General Manager of Brown‑Forman Italy, expressed confidence in the decision, stating, “We believe setting up our own distribution organization will enable the growth of our brands across all channels in Italy.”  

This move reflects the company’s commitment to enhancing consumer focus and brand prioritization in the Italian market. 

Yiannis Pafilis, EVP and President of Europe at Brown‑Forman emphasized the significance of Italy in the global growth strategy, especially for brands like Gin Mare and Diplomático Rum.  

Pafilis stated, “Italy is an important market for driving the growth of our Jack Daniel’s Family of Brands globally, and the establishment of an independent distribution business is expected to empower the company with a dedicated and talented team.”

Italy holds a prominent position in the spirits market, ranking among the top five in the European Union (excluding the UK). According to IWSR, it is also the leading market for Gin Mare globally.  

In 2022, IWSR recognized Brown‑Forman as the leader in the premium spirits category, with Jack Daniels identified as the leading whiskey in the Italian market. 

Brown-Forman has previously adopted a direct-selling approach in several European markets, including Belgium, Czechia, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Türkiye, and the UK.  

The company’s expansion of its distribution operations aligns with its broader strategy of maintaining control over the sales and distribution of its brands. 

This move follows Brown-Forman’s recent establishment of a direct selling and distribution division in Slovakia in the previous year.  

The company has progressively shifted to in-house distribution, completing the transition of its full portfolio in the UK in 2021 after the closure of the Bacardi Brown-Forman division. 

Despite the strategic moves, Brown-Forman adjusted its group-wide sales forecast for the 2024 financial year in December 2023, citing a 5 percent decline in organic net sales in the US for the first half of the fiscal year.  

Additionally, Brown-Forman recently finalized the sale of Jack Daniel Cooperage in the US to Independent Stave Company, a global barrel manufacturer. The Trinity, Alabama-based cooperage will be renamed Alabama Cooperage upon closing, expected by May 1, 2024.  

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