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Jack Daniel's Tennessee whiskey may see its non-U.S. sales accounting for more than half its global sales by the 2009 fiscal year.
The company began positioning the whiskey as a global brand in 1994 after U.S. sales remained flat through the 1980s. U.S. whiskey exports will reach $970 million by the end of the year, double the 2000 figure.
As Business Week magazine sees the situation,"In general, overseas markets have been good to all American whiskey. Fortune Brands' Jim Beam Kentucky Bourbon, Jack Daniel's nearest rival, saw global sales reach nearly 6 million cases, with 45% of that consumed abroad. Fortune's Maker's Mark premium bourbon has shown double-digit growth for 13 straight years, with a growing following outside the U.S. But Jack Daniel's is the first major brand to become a majority exporter."
A weak U.S. dollar has helped make American whiskey a good buy abroad. A key growth feeder for Jack Daniel's, says the magazine, "is the consistency of the brand's story" as reflected in Jack Daniel's marketing of its small-town roots, says Allyson Stewart-Allen, a director of International Marketing Partners, who studies international brand performance.
That, says, Stewart-Allen, is also one of the reasons Jack Daniel's has ducked overseas backlash against brands that are overtly American: "Jack Daniel's is less likely to experience boycotting from overseas markets because of the way it has played on the values of craftsmanship and intimacy via its use of small-town America visuals, in other words, the heartland of the U.S."
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