Pernod Ricard USA has invested in its first-ever ready-to-drink (RTD) canning line, which will be located at the company’s Fort Smith plant in Arkansas. The $22 million investment will provide the facility with canning capabilities, help accelerate growth for the company, add more US jobs and create a spillover of economic benefits for the local community.
“This investment is an incredible step in strengthening our manufacturing footprint in Fort Smith,” said Pierre Joncourt, senior vice president, Pernod Ricard North America. “The high-speed canning line will be instrumental in increasing our production capabilities and swiftly bringing our premium, bar-quality RTDs to market.”
The plant already produces several Pernod Ricard spirits, including Kahlua Coffee Liqueur and Seagram’s Gin. This new canning line — and the RTD offerings they’ll be able to produce as a result — will give them an opportunity to help make popular brands, like Jameson, Absolut, Malibu and TX Whiskey, even more accessible for consumers.
RTDs — which now include hard seltzers, prepared cocktails and long drinks, hard teas and coffees, wine spritzers and coolers — are ultra-convenient, easy to find, easy to carry, easy to store and easy to recycle. They’re also projected to be the fastest growing alcohol category globally over the next five years, with an expectation for them to increase by an additional $11.6 billion during that time (according to a new report from IWSR).
“Volume has only continued to increase for our Fort Smith facility and the spirits industry overall,” said Jennifer Anglin, senior operations director for the Fort Smith plant. “This latest canning line expansion will not only allow us to produce various spirits across our brand portfolio, but more importantly, it will create numerous jobs to keep up with demand.”
With so much projected growth, the Fort Smith plant has also recently welcomed the addition of eight brand new 50,000-gallon tanks to assist with production.