US – Pernod Ricard, the world’s second-largest spirits and wine company, has invested US$22 million in its first-ever ready-to-drink (RTD) canning line, located at the company’s Fort Smith plant in Arkansas.

The investment will provide the facility with canning capabilities, support growth for the company by boosting its ability to bring RTDs to market swiftly, and bestow more job positions in the area.

Additionally, the new canning line will allow the plant to make other popular brands like Jameson, Absolut, Malibu, and TX Whiskey “even more accessible and enjoyable for consumers,” said the company.

Pierre Joncourt, Senior Vice President of Pernod Ricard North America, said the investment is an incredible step in strengthening the manufacturing footprint in Fort Smith.

With the high-speed canning line, Joncourt viewed it as instrumental in increasing the production capabilities and swiftly bringing our premium, bar-quality RTDs to market.

According to Pernod Ricard, RTDs are projected to be the fastest-growing alcohol category globally over the next five years. They are expected to increase by an additional US$11.6 billion during that time.

The Fort Smith plant has also recently added eight new 50,000-gallon tanks to assist with the production of several Pernod Ricard spirits, including Kahlua Coffee Liqueur and Seagram’s Gin.

Jennifer Anglin, senior operations director for the Fort Smith plant, commented: “Volume has only continued to increase for our Fort Smith facility and the spirits industry overall.”

This latest canning line expansion will allow us to produce various spirits across our brand portfolio, but more importantly, it will create numerous jobs to keep up with demand.”

Pernod Ricard named biggest beneficiary in Delhi excise policy case

Meanwhile, the Criminal Bureau of India is looking into the role of French spirits major in drafting of the Delhi liquor policy of Telangana and West Bengal. Both states implemented liquor policies that are identical to the ones in Delhi and Punjab.

The CBI’s probe into the role of Pernod Ricard in the framing of the now-withdrawn excise policy in Delhi found that the company is the biggest beneficiary of the new excise policies in Delhi, Punjab, Telangana, and West Bengal with its products capturing most of the market. 

According to the CBI, Manoj Rai, named in its Delhi charge sheet, worked as Pernod Ricard’s front man, having attended government meetings and was instrumental in framing a policy beneficial to the company.

The Enforcement Directorate has gone ahead to arrest Pernod Ricard’s general manager in charge of the Delhi region, Binoy Babu, and Hyderabad-based Aurobindo Pharma’s whole-time director and promoter, P Sarath Chandra Reddy.

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