Japan: Diageo announces distro plans with Moet Hennessy and Kirin

13 July, 2009

Japan: Diageo has announced the realignment of its product distribution in Japan. The new plans are designed to leverage the strengths of its two primary Japanese distribution partners - Diageo Moet Hennessy (MHD), the 50-50 joint venture between Diageo and Moet Hennessy, and Kirin Brewery. 

From October 1, Moet Hennessy will focus exclusively on marketing and distributing Diageo luxury and super-luxury malt and blended whisky brands, including Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Johnnie Walker Gold Label, Johnnie Walker Green Label, Old Parr and Talisker.

MHD will also receive a number of specialist luxury spirits including Ron Zacapa rum and Bulleit Bourbon.
Diageo said distribution of almost all of its premium brands will be concentrated with Kirin.
Kirin already distributes a number of Diageo brands, including Guinness, Kilkenny and Smirnoff Ice.

From October 1, 2009, thirteen more Diageo brands will be transferred
to Kirin, including brands such as Johnnie Walker Black Label, Johnnie Walker Red Label, Smirnoff Vodka, Tanqueray Gin, Baileys Irish Cream, and I W Harper.
Diageo said the realignment reaffirms the strength of its commitment to MHD and Kirin, and will streamline distribution of its products while playing directly to the core strengths of both partners.
Today’s announcement follows the recent formation of Diageo Kirin Company Limited, a joint venture between Diageo and. This joint venture, 51% owned by Diageo and 49% by Kirin, began operations on June 1 this year.