French group Pernod Ricard has expanded its spirits portfolio with the addition of Italicus, the Italian premium bergamot-infused aperitivo and Japanese gin KI NO BI.
Pernod Ricard explains that Italicus, founded in 2016 by Giuseppe Gallo, targets the growing potential among consumers for a low-ABV* spirit; the aperitivo has an ABV of 20%.
“It’s now time to consolidate with this heavyweight strategic partner in order to accelerate our global distribution. We have an ambitious plan to build Italicus into one of the world’s most successful aperitivo brands,” stated Gallo.
Dutch family-owned company De Kuyper Royal Distillers subsequently announced that it has sold its shares in the Italian brand. Both De Kuyper—which confirmed it held a minority stake in the brand—and Pernod Ricard told Luxe Packaging Insight that they could not disclose financial details on the acquisition.
In other news, as previously reported, Pernod Ricard announced a "significant investment" in KI NO BI Kyoto Dry Gin earlier this month. The brand will join Pernod Ricard's Gin Hub. The investment will mainly be used to fund a “state-of-the-art” distillery allowing the premium Japanese gin brand to meet increasing consumer demand.
According to Pernod Ricard, the buoyant ultra-premium gin category is being driven by the rise of mixology.
*alcohol by volume