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Bushmills targets 1m case sales by 2011

Published:  23 July, 2008

Bushmills, the Irish whiskey label owned by Diageo, is targeting sales of one million cases by 2011.

Following over 6m of investment since the drinks firm purchased Bushmills in 2005, the distillery is now looking to more than double its production in the next three years - it currently produces 400,000 cases a year.

Shivaun Lucey, Bushmills global brand director, told Harpers TV one of the first steps taken by Diageo after the takeover was to up production time to a six-and-a-half day week.

She said: "We are going to double in three years because we're going to grow faster in existing markets to support the expansion."

The US is the largest international market for the Bushmills label but there is room for further expansion in Latin America and Asia plus development in central and eastern Europe, Lucey added.

Diageo is ploughing some 1.4m of investment into Bushmills during its 400th anniversary year. The money is supporting an advertising campaign, the launch of a special edition 1608 Bushmills Whiskey and a fresh website design with blog entries from renowned Irish rugby player Keith Wood.

It is the first time Bushmills has launched a global advertising campaign, which will display the 'Irish at its Best' slogan across national press and men's interest publications. Meetings are taking place today (March 5) at Bushmills with ad agency BMB to consider the next digital phase of the campaign.

Asked about the possibility of further expansion to the fully-integrated Bushmills distillery site, Lucey told there were no further immediate plans. She said "the first step in the journey" would be to hit the existing target, adding "let's do a million cases first before expansion".

You can catch up with the full video interview with Shivaun Lucey on Harpers TV later this week.