Diageo North America 

Diageo North America

North America accounts for about a third of our net sales and around 45% of operating profit and is the largest market for premium drinks in the world. Continuing economic uncertainty has adversely impacted consumer spending in the region, but due to our leadership in innovation, strong route to consumer and solid marketing investment in key brands, we continue to be well positioned. We are promoting responsible drinking, and this year the US government approved our request to include serving fact information on beverage alcohol products.

Our markets

Our North America business comprises US Spirits, Diageo Guinness USA (DGUSA) and Diageo Canada, headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Route to market

Route to market in the United States is through the three-tier system and we distribute our products through more than 100 spirits distributors and brokers, and more than 400 beer distributors. We have a unique route to market for our spirits business in the United States, with more than 3,000 dedicated distributor sales people focused only on Diageo and Moët Hennessy brands. Diageo consolidates its US Spirits business into a single state-wide distributor in 41 states and the District of Columbia, representing more than 80% of the company’s US Spirits volume. The US Spirits business operates through five divisions in Open States where we sell to distributors who then sell to retailers, and through two divisions in Control States where mostly we sell to the state, which in turn sells to state or agency stores and on-premise retailers. DGUSA sells and markets brands including Guinness, Smirnoff Ice and Smithwick’s. Beer distribution generally follows the three-tier open state regulations across the United States. Diageo Canada distributes our collection of spirits and beer brands across all Canadian provinces, which generally operate through a provincial control system. Diageo Canada operates through a single broker with a dedicated sales force handling our brands in the country. National brand strategy, strategic accounts marketing and corporate functions are managed at the North America level.

Supply operations

We have 11 bottling, distilling, blending and maturation sites including operations in Plainfield, Illinois; Amherstburg, Ontario; Valleyfield, Quebec; Relay, Maryland; Gimli, Manitoba; Tullahoma, Tennessee; and Louisville, Kentucky. Focusing on continuously improving efficiency across our supply chain we have made significant investments recently; consolidating the majority of our high volume bottling operations to Plainfield and breaking ground on a new distillery in Shelbyville, Kentucky.

Sustainability & Responsibility

As our largest market, with many millions of consumers, our focus on responsible drinking in North America is particularly important, and we have built a reputation as a leading voice in the industry. After 12 years of advocating with a coalition of consumer and public health advocates, the US government recently allowed alcohol companies to include alcohol content and nutritional information per typical serve on packaging. In March we followed this by announcing our commitment to provide consumers around the world with this information - a first for any alcohol company. Another key issue for us is operational sustainability - our Californian vineyards and wineries are in a water-stressed area, and we have responded by creating ‘Blue Teams’ to scale up our focus on reducing water use in our operations and identifying opportunities in our wine growers’ supply chain.