View Full Version : Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc. Acquires Whaler's Rums

02-01-2002, 10:00


Kate Latts

Director of Marketing Strategy

Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc.



Amy Preske

Public Relations

Keller Crescent Co.



Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc. Acquires Whaler's Rums

Fast Growing Hawaiian Style Rum Brings Heaven Hill into the Premium Rum Category

Brand to be Supported with Continued Aggressive Marketing and Grass Roots Efforts

BARDSTOWN, Ky. (February 1, 2002) -- Heaven Hill Distilleries, Inc., announces today the purchase of the Whaler's Rum line from Levecke Corporation, Mira Loma Calif.

The acquisition fits perfectly with the family-owned company's philosophy of strategic growth and provides tremendous opportunities for the future, says Max L. Shapira, president of Heaven Hill. "The beauty of this acquisition is that it strengthens and allows for the future growth of Heaven Hill as an independent, family-owned company in this era of instability and consolidations," Shapira stated. The addition of Whaler's Rums to Heaven Hill?s portfolio further strengthens Heaven Hill's position in key markets throughout the U.S.

While the Whaler's brand has had a long history in the industry, it was effectively relaunched approximately two years ago with a broadened product flavor mix and dynamic new packaging. These new initiatives have propelled the brand into one of the fastest-growing rum brands, with particular impact on the highly visible premium and flavored rum segments.

Led by its innovative Vanilla flavored rum, the line also includes Killer Coconut, Great White, Hawaiian Spiced, Rare Reserve Dark, and Original Dark offerings. The brand was developed using the traditional Hawaiian recipe from the old rum makers of Maui. In keeping with this tradition, Whaler's rums are still aged in oak casks and has the only premium rums flavored with a whisper of tropical vanilla.

In addition to this rich product heritage, the brand stands apart both on the shelf and on-premise due to its award-winning vibrant colored packaging. "The colorful shrink wrap label not only differentiates Whaler's from all other distilled spirits products on the market today, but also helps communicate the essence of the brand to our target audience," said Susan Overton, marketing director for Heaven Hill.

Prior to the acquisition of Whaler's, Heaven Hill had been strategically analyzing the rum category to determine the best way of significantly participating in the growing premium rum segment. "Whaler?s is a uniquely developed brand with strong differentiation and ever growing consumer identity and loyalty. It's positioned squarely in the hot premium segment of the rum category, with flavors to appeal to a broad range of consumers," added Overton.

As Heaven Hill transitions the brand, the plan is to initiate immediately an aggressive marketing campaign that will enhance the brand's market position as well as capitalize on all opportunities to expand distribution and growth. "Whaler's has so much potential and so many great assets with which to work. Our first task will be to firm up a long-term positioning for the brand and then look at the best tried and true marketing tools ? as well as more non-traditional measures," comments Kate Latts, director of marketing strategy at Heaven Hill. "We won't rule anything out at this point," she adds. Specifically, Heaven Hill's plans are to market the brand with a broad based integrated program, including trade advertising, consumer sampling, local marketing programming, POS and viral marketing.

Founded in 1935, Heaven Hill is the nation?s largest family-owned producer and marketer of distilled spirits and the seventh largest supplier in the U.S. Over the last several years the company has aggressively expanded both through internal development and a series of acquisitions. The company portfolio includes products in almost every distilled spirits category, from Bourbon whiskey to premium imports from around the world.

Heaven Hill's portfolio includes: Evan Williams Bourbon and Evan Williams Single Barrel Vintage Bourbon, The Christian Brothers Brandies and Dessert Wines, Burnett's Gin, Burnett's Vodka, Elijah Craig 18-Year-Old Single Barrel Bourbon, Elijah Craig 12-Year-Old Bourbon, Heaven Hill Bourbon, Henry McKenna Bourbon, Harwood Canadian Whisky, Cluny Scotch, Isle of Jura 10 and 16-year-old Single Malt Scotch, Glen Salen Pure Malt Scotch, DuBouchett Cordials, Cope De Oro Coffee Liqueur, Vandermint Chocolate Mint Liqueur, Dubonnet, Cynar Aperitif, Sambuca Sarti, Ansac Cognac, Coronet VSQ Brandy, Lazzaroni Amaretto, Amarito Amaretto, Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey, The Tyrconnell Single Malt Irish Whiskey, O?Mara?s Irish Country Cream, El Conquistador Super Premium Tequila, Two Fingers Tequila, Arandas Tequila, Harlequin Orange Liqueur.



Jim Butler