A new look and brand positioning are being introduced for Southern Comfort alongside a new 50% ABV expression designed for cocktails.
The new label designs have been developed to better represent the brand’s whiskey credentials and its roots in New Orleans where it was first created in 1874, with a new tab describing it as “The Spirit of New Orleans”.
Its UK distributor Hi-Spirits is also introducing a 50% ABV expression, 100 Proof, specifically developed for the UK on-trade to complement the existing Southern Comfort Original at 35% ABV.
Amanda McLeod, marketing director of Hi-Spirits, said: “We’re very pleased to be launching Southern Comfort 100 Proof exclusively to the on-trade in the UK and Ireland. It still features the distinctive Southern Comfort blend of whiskey, fruits and spices created by MW Heron, but at 50% ABV, it’s a premium spirit that will inspire bartenders to create some interesting new cocktails and mixed drinks.”
Southern Comfort’s bottles have been made taller and slightly narrower and will retain their long-standing fluted shoulders plus the signature of the creator, MW Heron, along with a new upscale cap.
The revamp follows the sale of the iconic brand by Brown-Forman to the Sazerac Company last year. The new look and 100 Proof will be rolled out across the UK this summer.
Sazerac senior marketing director Kevin Richards said: “We believe the new packaging reinforces the brand’s authentic whiskey and New Orleans roots. New Orleans was an integral part of Southern Comfort’s positioning for decades. We’re excited to reinforce that critical connection into the future. Like Southern Comfort, New Orleans is adored for its uniqueness and spirited character.”
MW Heron created the first batch of the liqueur using whiskey and his own blend of fruits and spices 143 years ago. Around the same time the Sazerac Company was planting its roots in New Orleans at the Sazerac Coffee House on Exchange Alley in the French Quarter, home of the classic Sazerac cocktail.
Mark Brown, president and chief executive officer of the Sazerac Company, added: “We’re incredibly excited about our plans to strengthen Southern Comfort’s position as an iconic global whiskey brand for the next 50 years. We believe Southern Comfort can be a 10 million case brand one day.”
Dan Bolton, managing director of Hi-Spirits, said: “Southern Comfort in the UK is the same high-quality, premium spirit that it has always been, with whiskey at the heart of the recipe. With the brand’s whiskey roots and heritage in New Orleans, a city known for good times and great cocktails, the new-look packaging and positioning captures that spirit perfectly.”