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launched in 1970


Suggested Retail Price: US$18-20

 


Founded in: 1870

850 Dixie Highway
Louisville, 40210
KY - United States
brown-forman.com
Tel: 502-585-1100
www.b-f.com

Brown Forman - Finlandia Contact: Scott Reid
scott_reid@b-f.com
Brown Forman General Contact: Phil Lynch
brown-forman@b-f.com
President: Owsley Brown II
brown-forman@b-f.com
President, B-F Spirits Americas: Don Berg
brown-forman@b-f.com
CEO, Brown-Forman Beverages: Paul Varga
brown-forman@b-f.com

INTERVIEW

IBN: Please tell us about Finlandia.

B-F: Brown-Forman is the 80% owner of the Finlandia brand in a joint venture with the Finnish government entity, Altia Group, which owns the other 20%. Altia is the exclusive manufacturer and bottler of Finlandia for the world. All Finlandia is produced and bottled in Finland. Brown-Forman is the 100% worldwide Marketing and Distribution agent for Finlandia. Finlandia is exclusively managed, marketed, and sold through Brown-Forman sales and marketing employees, and our distributor and wholesale network, throughout the world.

Finlandia Vodka was the world's first premium imported vodka. It was launched in 1970, before Absolut and any other of the international premium brands. It was launched as an expression of the best the world had to offer in producing the ultimate expression of vodka. The clean, cold, and purity of the country of Finland, pure glacial spring water, the finest six-row barley, and a technologically superior continuous distillation process were all combined to provide consumers with the ultimate vodka experience.

Finlandia hired a noted Finnish glass designer to create a work of art that would serve as the package for Finlandia. The legendary midnight sun, the white reindeer of Finland's Arctic Circle, and clean Nordic lines are all featured in a glacial ice bottle which represents the purity of Finland and the pure clean taste of Finlandia Vodka."

IBN: What are the varieties and suggested retail price?

B-F: Finlandia Vodka is marketed in two Classic varieties, 40%abv (80 proof) and 50% abv (100 proof), in addition to two flavored varieties (Finlandia Cranberry and Finlandia Lime. Finlandia's suggested price is about US$20 or the equivalent. It is usually priced with Absolut in the market.

IBN: Are there any new products coming to market in 2003? What are your targeted demographics

B-F: We have a new package that will be unveiled during the Fall of 2003 in the USA. Our target audience is socially active men and women, 25-39, who are fashion and style conscious.

IBN: What is your added value when put up against the competition?

B-F: Our added value is the essence of our brand - purity of taste, product, and spirit. Consumers tell us that Finlandia is the purest vodka in the world by virtue of its origin and imagery.

Finlandia pure clean taste will go up against any vodka in the world. The reality is that consumers are looking for more than just taste, and that is where style and personality come into play

Finlandia has a new ad campaign that is bringing a spotlight on the brand like never before. Finlandia is "purely refreshing", and the tagline "Refresh" is prompting consumers to discover the heritage and imagery of this amazingly authentic luxury brand.

IBN: What was your market share in 2001 and 2002 in the USA and worldwide? How many cases did you sell? Is 2003 going to be a good year? Why?

B-F: Finlandia sells about 2 million cases globally, and is the number two premium imported vodka behind Absolut. This year will be a fantastic year with our new "glacial ice" bottle, a new ad campaign, and a number of yet-to-be-announced activities.


IBN: We all know that Finlandia is the new James Bond Vodka. This must have been a great but certainly expensive product placement. Are you satisfied with the promotional effects?

B-F: Finlandia was honored to be chosen as James Bond's vodka in the 20th installment of the world's most successful film franchise. One of the misconceptions is that this was a paid product placement. It was not.

MGM Studios in Hollywood and EON Productions in London chose Finlandia from a selected list of the world's best luxury brands. James Bond is not for sale. Products can't buy their way into the world of Bond. Bond only chooses the finest cars, gadgets, women, and of course vodka.

Finlandia's product quality and brand image was what caught the producers eye. Finlandia is from the land of cold, ice, and purity. This is a recurring theme in Bond films and a perfect fit with the franchise. It is a brand with no pretense and the ultimate understated elegance.

IBN: How do you see the evolution of the market and prices for the premium Vodka industry?

B-F: The USA is the world's largest Premium Vodka market. Over the past 5 years, the category has segmented and evolved into Premium, Super-Premium, and Ultra-Premium sectors. Other markets around the world are beginning to see this same segmentation occur. The market will continue to develop and evolve analogous to fashion and luxury brands.


IBN: What impact does the Internet have on your business?

B-F: The internet is a source of information and imagery for consumers around the world. Our industry doesn't transact a lot of business on the internet, but consumers make brand choices and decisions based on what they find on the internet.


Scott Reid
Global Marketing Director
Finlandia
scott_reid@b-f.com

Other Brown Forman Products:

Wine: Still and sparkling wines from California and Italy
Spirits: Bourbon, Cordial, Liquors, Rum, Scotch, Tequila, Vodka, Whisky

Main Brands: Bolla Wines, Bonterra Wines, Canadian Mist, Fetzer Wines, Finlandia Vodka, Jack Deniel's, Korbel California Champagnes, Sonoma-Cutrer Wines, Southern Comfort, Woodford Reserve

Brown-Forman is a diversified producer and marketer of fine quality consumer products. Brown-Forman’s current chairman and CEO, Owsley Brown II, is the great-grandson of the founder. Brown-Forman employs 7,000 people worldwide. In fiscal 2003, the company reported net sales of $2.3 billion and net income of $245 million. Brown-Forman has offices and/or joint ventures in 40 cities and 25 countries across the globe.