Sazerac’s CEO Mark Brown has toldthe drinks businessthat he is “excited about the long term potential of American whiskey” especially in emerging markets.

Brown also said that after acquiring 20 companies in 15 years he does still have an eye on bringing in further brands in the future.

Speaking about the whisky category and its future, Brown tolddb: “If you look at the evolution of the market place Scotch has got massive head start. And they’ve done a marvellous job of marketing it. But we’re particularly excited about the long term potential of American whiskey around the world.

“I think eventually as that middle class emerges in China, India, Russia and Brazil, we’ll see Bourbon really start to sell. As the market evolves in Asia, I think Bourbon will do really well.”

Brown added that one of his company’s primary focuses was building up the Buffalo Trace brand. “We’re getting tourists from the UK making the pilgrimage to Bourbon distilleries and ours is included in that,” he said. “So we are very upbeat and very bullish about what Bourbon can do and so for Sazerac building up the Buffalo Trace distillery and its whiskies would be our primary focus.”

Mark Brown Sazerac

Sazerac CEO Mark Brown

But while Brown emphasised that building up Buffalo Trace was key for Sazerac he did not rule out making further acquisitions in the future. He admitted todbthat he does have his eye on some brands, but would not give any clues as to which ones they were.

Brown said: “We’ve acquired 20 companies in 15 years, so we are acquisitive and we plan to continue to be as acquisitive as we possibly can.

“We also believe very heavily in new business development and if you look at the last 25 years, new business development has contributed a lot to the growth of the spirits industry and finally we believe in organic brand growth.

“So we’ve really got a three pronged approach, which is not particularly rocket science. There are no silver bullets in our industry.

He added: “Our industry is remarkably unconsolidated at the moment, even with Diageo’s acquisition of United.

“There are a lot of acquisition opportunities in the industry at the moment as it is nowhere near as consolidated as say the beer or tobacco industries, which only have a small number of huge players.

“Barriers to entry in some categories are relatively low so with the craft distillers we’re seeing coming into the market, it will mean more acquisition opportunities and I can see us getting more brands in the future.”

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