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Brown-Forman's Coopers' Craft Marks its 1st Bourbon Brand

Brown-Forman Corporation BF.B announced the launch of Coopers’ Craft, which will mark the company’s first new bourbon brand in almost two decades. The launch of this premium whiskey was driven by persistent strength noted in the company’s whiskey sales.  

Bottled at 82.2 proof, Coopers’ Craft will be found on Brown-Forman’s racks from this summer, in certain U.S. regions initially. These include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee, where the new brand will be available at a retail price of $28.99 per 750ml bottle.

The company started bottling bourbon roughly 150 years back when it realized the positive impact of wood on bourbon and thus, the vital role played by barrels. Gaining from this, Brown-Forman, which set up its own cooperage in 1945, is currently the sole major distiller that owns and raises its own new barrels.

Notably, during the past 70 years, the company has attained mastery over raising barrels and perfected the art of transferring unique flavors to bourbon by using wood. Hence, the launch of Coopers’ Craft is a celebration of this legacy, which also highlights Brown-Forman’s focus on its notion – “what matters most, we do ourselves.”

The popularity of bourbon is further underscored by the fact that total U.S. revenue for bourbon, rye whiskey and Tennessee whiskey jumped 7.8 % to $2.9 billion last year, per the Distilled Spirits Council. The council also stated that domestic volumes picked up 5.2% to 20.4 million cases in 2015.

Coming back to Coopers’ Craft – apart from leveraging the barrel facility, the making of this new whiskey brand requires the use of a special beech and birch charcoal filter finishing process, which ultimately leads to smooth creation of flavorful bourbon.  

Brown-Forman is a major producer and distributor of premium alcoholic beverages in the world, and commands a strong portfolio of globally recognized brands. The company has been keen on enhancing its growth and value creation prospects over the last decade via active portfolio management strategies that include developing, acquiring and divesting specific brands and categories.

However, Brown-Forman currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell) as in its recently reported third-quarter fiscal 2016 results, the company continued with its dismal sales trend, which mirrored the impact of the ongoing currency headwinds. Further, Brown-Forman indicated that future projections have become difficult in the face of an uncertain global economic environment and its impact on business. Consequently, the company lowered its earnings and sales outlook for fiscal 2016.

Stocks to Consider

Some better-ranked stocks worth considering in the beverage alcohol industry include Castle Brands Inc. ROX and Constellation Brands Inc. STZ, each with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Another stock worth considering in the related beverage-soft drinks industry is Cott Corporation COT, also carrying a Zacks Rank #2.

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BROWN FORMAN B (BF.B): Free Stock Analysis Report
CASTLE BRANDS (ROX): Free Stock Analysis Report
COTT CORP QUE (COT): Free Stock Analysis Report
CONSTELLATN BRD (STZ): Free Stock Analysis Report
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