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Beam Suntory: Revitalizing growth

Redefining cordials into consumer-relevant segments and distinct growth opportunities.


Beam Suntory is one of the world’s largest premium spirits companies. It was established in 2014 through the merger of a world leader in bourbon and a pioneer in Japanese whisky to form a new company with a deep heritage, passion for quality, innovative spirit and commitment to sustainable business practices.

The company noticed a decline in the volume and sales of its cordials and liqueurs portfolio. Accenture Strategy helped it redefine its portfolio into consumer-relevant segments and distinct growth opportunities for each brand.


“We have a great opportunity to create some tremendous value from this category.”
CEO, Beam Suntory


Beam Suntory noticed a decline in the volume and sales of its cordials and liqueurs portfolio. This was of particular concern to the company’s management due to the strategic profit delivery and growth capital that this business provided to the company as a whole. In addition, the availability of alternative flavored spirits such as vodka and rum was diminishing the relevance of cordials in the minds of consumers. To help stabilize its business in the short term and create a platform to reinvigorate its brands and spur growth in the long term, Beam Suntory engaged Axia Ltd., a strategy consulting service provider subsequently acquired by Accenture and hereafter referred to as Accenture Strategy.


Accenture Strategy employed a modified Value-Based Management (VBM) approach, centered on the aggregation of key facts and issues, to inform strategic alternatives that could foster organizational alignment around actionable recommendations. It then collaborated closely with Beam Suntory’s senior leadership to develop a robust growth strategy for its cordials portfolio, rooted in these insights. The strategy centered on three tenets: enhancing the core business through direct activation of consumers and effective partnership with customers; growing existing brands through broader participation across use occasions and drink types; and extending participation into new categories through consumer-centric innovation built upon latent brand strengths.

Accenture Strategy’s recommendations and support through successful implementation, led to a renewed enthusiasm and focus on the cordials portfolio throughout the value chain and a growth strategy for both near- and long-term performance.

Targeting an increase in revenue and profit over the next few years, within the first year, Beam Suntory launched a new product in an adjacent category, optimized its pricing structure, re-focused distribution efforts with state-specific sales tools, launched category management plans with key accounts, developed new marketing for core brands, and optimized its portfolio to reduce confusion and align more closely with consumer insights and usage occasions.