Starbucks, Jim Beam to Launch Another Liqueur

Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) and Fortune Brands Inc.'s (FO) Jim Beam (search) distilled spirits unit are bringing out a second product in their jointly developed line of liqueurs, the companies said Wednesday.

The new drink, which is called Starbucks Cream Liqueur (search), will be sold in 35 markets in the United States, starting this fall. It will be rolled out nationally by February 2006.

Starbucks Coffee Liqueur, the first drink developed by the two companies, is the top-selling new spirit of 2005, said Larry Plawsky, a vice president at Jim Beam, who is overseeing the rollout of the new drink.

The companies are hoping to capitalize on the strong demand for cream liqueurs during the holiday season with the upcoming launch of the new product, Plawsky added.

Plawsky declined to give a volume target for the new drink, which will have an average retail price of $22.99. He said he expected Starbucks Cream Liqueur to receive a similar reception from cordial drinkers that Starbucks Coffee Liqueur (search) did earlier this year.

The cream liqueur category, which is led by Bailey's Irish Cream (search), is nearly three times the size of the coffee liqueur market. Because of the size of the market, Plawsky said he expected Starbucks Cream Liqueur to eventually be a bigger seller than the first drink.

The marketing plans for the new drink will be similar to the push the companies put behind Starbucks Coffee Liqueur. Jim Beam will send sales representatives to educate bartenders about how to mix the new drink into cocktails.

Jim Beam also plans to hold some tastings of the product at liquor stores and is developing some point-of-sale advertising displays, Plawsky said.

It also plans to sell a special gift pack for the holiday season containing bottles of both Starbucks Coffee Liqueur and Starbucks Cream Liqueur. Customers also will get a $5 gift card that can be used at Starbucks stores when they buy the pack.