Altamar Brands and Absinthe: Feeding "the Green Fairy"

11 Pages Posted: 30 May 2017

See all articles by Marian Chapman Moore

Marian Chapman Moore

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Brooke Correll

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Abstract

In May 2007, Altamar Brands signed a contract to represent Kübler Absinthe in the United States. The next month, U.S. consumers greeted the news of absinthe's legalization with abandon. Industry veterans had never before witnessed as high a level of consumer awareness and demand as what preceded the reintroduction of absinthe. After much-heralded product introductions in five major markets, Kübler's CEO found himself with a time-sensitive opportunity to ramp up the company's distribution in the rest of the United States, and he debated implementing an aggressive rollout.

Excerpt

UVA-M-0844

Rev. Mar. 17, 2013

Altamar Brands and Absinthe: Feeding “the Green Fairy”

At 2:00 a.m. on a warm June night in 2008, W. L. Lyons Brown III, CEO of Altamar Brands, a distiller and importer of craft spirits brands, sat on a couch in a corner of the Palms Casino, Las Vegas's newest and edgiest establishment, and marveled at his luck. He had just witnessed another “table theater” event in which tuxedo-clad waiters dramatically dispensed his most recently acquired brand, Kübler Absinthe Superieure, through a glass fountain and a silver spoon to the delight of swanky revelers at a nearby table. This table's spectacle would be repeated at other tables, with each paying almost $ 1,000 per bottle to taste and experience the previously prohibited, reputedly hallucinogenic spirit.

In May 2007, Altamar Brands had signed a contract to represent Kübler in the United States. After just one year, Brown knew he had a hit on his hands. Kübler was the real deal, an original recipe, continuously produced in Switzerland by the same family for generations. Brown had figured that the American public would pounce on an opportunity to try the long-prohibited and newly legalized spirit, and he was right. After much heralded product introductions in five major markets, Brown now had a time-sensitive opportunity to ramp up Kübler distribution.

Brown and Altamar Brands

. . .

Keywords: product introduction, product distribution, consumer demand

Suggested Citation

Moore, Marian Chapman and Correll, Brooke, Altamar Brands and Absinthe: Feeding "the Green Fairy". Darden Case No. UVA-M-0844. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2974711

Marian Chapman Moore (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

Brooke Correll

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

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