Spirits maker takes over local distribution

Pernod Ricard, the world’s second-largest wines and spirits company, announced yesterday that it will open an office in Cambodia to undertake the exclusive importation and distribution of its products in the Kingdom.

The French spirits maker previously operated a representative office in Cambodia through which it organised product distribution with third-party firms, according to Philippe Guettat, chairman and CEO of Pernod Ricard Asia.

With the new office, the company aims to better promote its range of products in the country, including Beefeater gin, Absolut Vodka and Jameson whiskey, and work directly with retailers and wholesalers to gain a greater share of the local high-end alcohol market.

“The DNA of Pernod Ricard has clearly always been we sell our own brands with our own teams and this enables us to activate our brands and to invest longer term,” he said yesterday.

“The idea would be first to capitalise on our brands which already exist in the market and to be able to grow them and develop them.”

The local subsidiary, Pernod Ricard Cambodge, will follow a strategy of promoting its better-known products such as Chivas Regal whiskey or Ballentine’s Scotch whisky, to gain a greater customer base in the country, Guettat explained. He noted that demand has grown in Asia for cognac and whiskey products in particular.

“Cleary today we know that there is an appetite for Scotch whisky in Cambodia and in this regard, Chivas Regal is a very iconic, so we intend to capitalise and cultivate that and grow and develop it,” he said.

“We have identified as well that there is some interest in cognac and for that, with Martell [cognac] being the leader in Southeast Asia, the leader in China, and a very strong leader in the whole of Asia, it will have a role to play.”

Marc Rosales, general manager of Pernod Ricard Cambodge, explained that the company will focus specifically on the younger, more educated and consumer savvy generations of Cambodians in its marketing and outreach efforts.

“Any great brand cannot be great if it does not take care of its consumers, so naturally in Cambodia, we will focus on the consumer.”

He said this focus would primarily be on young adults in their 20s “who are more educated than their parents, more travelled and more exposed to trends”.