Gruppo Campari's Bottling Facility, Kentucky, United States of America
Gruppo Campari announced the construction of a new packaging and bottling facility in the US for its Wild Turkey and other reputed alcoholic beverage brands, such as SKYY vodka. Gruppo Campari is an affiliate of beverage company Davide Campari-Milano.
The 125,000 square feet plant will be located in Lawrenceburg, in the state of Kentucky. It will have initial production capacity of four million nine-litre cases per annum. It will have packaging and bottling facilities for all of the distilled spirit brands being marketed by the company in the US.
The plant's construction began in March 2012 and is expected to be completed in 2013. The project is estimated to cost $44m. It is expected to create 62 jobs.
Gruppo Campari undertook the expansion as the company has been witnessing strong demand for Wild Turkey and SKYY vodka in the US, Australia, Canada and Japan. The company sells more than a million nine-litre cases of Wild Turkey per annum through its subsidiary Campari America.
The Wild Turkey brand was earlier owned by Pernod Ricard. Gruppo Campari acquired the brand in 2009. The brand was launched more than 150 years ago and has a rich heritage.
Location of Gruppo Campari's new facility
The bottling plant will be located at the company's existing site in Lawrenceburg and will serve as the principal distillery unit for the Wild Turkey brand. The site is situated about 250 yards from the company's existing distillery site in Lawrenceburg.
The existing Wild Turkey distillery in Lawrenceburg had a captive packaging line, but the same was suspended from use in 2006. The new packaging facility has been announced to replace the closed down captive plant. The capacity of the new plant will be sufficient to meet the packaging needs of the distillery's entire output.
Gruppo Campari has initiated a series of expansions since purchasing the Wild Turkey brand. It launched a $50m expansion at the distillery in 2011 to almost double the production capacity of the distillery.
Container systems produced at the packaging and bottling plant
The plant will be equipped to produce container systems of various sizes, including 50ml, 750ml, 1L, 1.75ml and special editions.
Benefits of the Lawrenceburg-based plant
Gruppo Campari anticipates that the new plant will provide a number of benefits, including cost efficiencies, improved customer service and added production flexibility through in-sourcing the company's packaging needs.
Locating the packaging facility at the same site as the existing distillery will generate cost efficiency for the company.
It is also expected to improve the company's customer service and provide production flexibility through better planning.
The government of Kentucky sees significant economic benefits due to the project as distilling contributes about $2bn to annual gross state product.
Equipment installed as part of the alcoholic beverage company's expansion
The bottling lines at the plant will be furnished with automated technology and constitute bulk glass unloading equipment, bottle rinsers, fillers, cappers / corkers, labellers, packers, automated quality inspection stations, palletisers and shrink wrappers. There will be a hand line for single barrel products.
The plant will also have a tank room, which will include tanks, pumps, filters and an automated batching system.
Financing for Gruppo Campari's $44m project in Kentucky
Gruppo Campari will complete the project using its own funds. The project is also supported by the Commonwealth of Kentucky which has offered to provide economic incentives of up to $2.35m, including sales tax refunds.
Financial support will be provided through the Kentucky Business Investment (KBI) programme and the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, considering the employment opportunities and economic benefits generated by the project.
Future plans for the Lawrenceburg bottling plant
The Lawrenceburg plant's capacity of four million cases is much higher than the one million cases of Wild Turkey which the company currently sells annually.
The surplus capacity has been installed with the intention of using the plant for packaging of other alcohol brands of the company in future. Some of these brands will include Wild Turkey American Honey, Russell's Reserve and Rare Breed Bourbon.