Beam Suntory is readying a limited direct-to-consumer membership program for its Jim Beam brand.
The quarterly Barreled & Boxed program, which starts Aug. 25 and will initially be available only in Kentucky and Washington D.C., will send two bottles of bourbon or other new product innovations to a select number of consumers. Boxes are priced between $150 and $300.
A flat shipping rate is applied, and returns will not be accepted. While consumers will have a period to decide whether they want the shipment or to cancel their membership, they’ll have to get back on a waitlist to rejoin the program should they cancel.
[See also: Making the Pivot to DTC]
The membership will also include an invitation to a virtual tasting event with Beam family distiller Freddie Noe; a VIP tour of the company’s distillery in Clermont, Ky., with one guest; and invites to future member-only events.
Chicago-headquartered Beam Suntory, which recently partnered with Boston Beer to further its Sauza tequila brand, also includes such brands as Maker's Mark, Knob Creek, Kakubin and Canadian Club in its portfolio.
While selling direct-to-consumer includes challenges for all consumer goods companies, the spirits category is accompanied by its own unique set of obstacles in the United States, chiefly surrounding legal constraints. Allison Webb, Diageo director of digital conversion marketing, and Cassandra Ericson, manager of on-premise channel marketing, recently shared how Diageo navigated some of these obstacles to record significant e-commerce gains.