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Fortune Brands Inc. (FBI)

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Tuesday 04 March, 2003

Fortune Brands Inc.

Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous 

    LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar. 4, 2003--

FORTUNE BRANDS NEW PRODUCT ALERT/Jim Beam Launching Beam & Cola;
Ready-to-Drink Beverage Made with Real Jim Beam Bourbon Provides
Alternative to the Malternative

The Jim Beam Brands unit of consumer products company Fortune
Brands, Inc. (NYSE: FO) today announced the upcoming introduction of
Beam and Cola, a ready-to-drink beverage containing real Jim Beam
bourbon and cola. The genuine bourbon content sets Beam and Cola apart
from so-called malternative malt-based beverages that do not contain
the spirits for which they are named. Beam and Cola, which has had
phenomenal success in Australia, will be available in select U.S.
markets in May. The complete announcement from Jim Beam Brands
follows.

Jim Beam Brands Co., maker of the world's number one selling
bourbon, will launch Beam and Cola, a new ready-to-drink beverage.
What differentiates this product extension from the sea of
malternatives introduced in the past few years are its basic
ingredients - real Jim Beam bourbon and cola.

While malternative products feature the name of their parent
brands, each is actually an artificially flavored beverage that
contains malt but none of the spirits for which it is named. In an
omnibus survey of adults over the age of twenty-one, 68 percent of
those polled believed that malternative beverages contain real
spirits.

Two-thirds of Jim Beam consumers say that mixing Jim Beam with
cola is their preferred way to drink the world's number one bourbon.
Beam and Cola will provide a portable and convenient way for consumers
to enjoy Jim Beam, while staying true to the heritage and history of
the brand.

'This is not a flash in the pan, fly by night new product idea,'
said Tom Hernquist, senior vice president of marketing, Jim Beam
Brands Worldwide. 'The new Beam and Cola ready-to-drink product takes
the most popular way of consuming Jim Beam Bourbon and puts it in a
convenient, high quality and refreshing format.'

While the product will be available in restaurants and nightclubs,
consumers also can enjoy Beam and Cola in the home and during outdoor
occasions such as barbecuing and tailgating, where convenience is a
priority. In an omnibus survey, nearly half of consumers ages 21 - 29
said they would be likely to serve a ready-to-drink product that
contained real spirits as an alternative to beer or soda at such
outdoor occasions.

Initial Availability

Beginning May 1, just in time for Memorial Day weekend, Beam and
Cola will be available in Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana,
Kentucky, Ohio and Texas. These seven states were chosen for initial
distribution because they make up one-third of the core brand's sales.
Jim Beam is exploring opportunities to expand distribution of Beam and
Cola in 2004.

The retail price of six-packs of Beam and Cola 12.7-ounce longneck
bottles will vary by market. The product, which performed extremely
well in consumer testing, will contain 5 percent alcohol by volume,
comparable to the alcohol content of beer and malt beverages.

Packaging will resemble that of Jim Beam bourbon's traditional
white label, showcasing the taste and history associated with the
brand. During extensive research, consumers stated that the package
was true to the authenticity and heritage of the 200-plus year-old Jim
Beam brand.

The Beam and Cola launch will be supported by a comprehensive
marketing plan, including advertising and local promotions. The
advertising campaign, which launches in April, will focus on the
'Real' ingredients of Jim Beam bourbon and cola and will be featured
in targeted weekly newspapers, outdoor and spot radio.

Strong Growth in Australia

Beam and Cola has been available in Australia for more than a
decade and has proven to be successful in a market that loves bourbon.
When compared to the total packaged beer category in Australia, Beam
and Cola has a 6 percent market share - and is outsold only by two
beer brands. Beam and Cola sold approximately 4 million cases in
Australia in 2002, up 25 percent from the previous year.

Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey & Cola, 5% Alc./Vol.
(C)2003 James B. Beam Distilling Co., Clermont, KY.

Fortune Brands, Inc. is a consumer products company with annual
sales exceeding $5.6 billion. Its operating companies have premier
brands and leading market positions in home and hardware products,
spirits and wine, golf equipment and office products. Home and
hardware brands include Moen faucets, Aristokraft, Schrock, Diamond
and Omega cabinets, Master Lock security products and Waterloo tool
storage sold by units of MasterBrand Industries, Inc. Major spirits
and wine brands sold by units of Jim Beam Brands Worldwide, Inc.
include Jim Beam and Knob Creek bourbons, DeKuyper cordials, The
Dalmore single malt Scotch, Vox vodka and Geyser Peak and Canyon Road
wines. Acushnet Company's golf brands include Titleist, Cobra and
FootJoy. Office brands include Day-Timer, Swingline, Kensington and
Wilson Jones sold by units of ACCO World Corporation. Fortune Brands,
headquartered in Lincolnshire, Illinois, is traded on the New York
Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol FO and is included in the S&P
500 Index.

    To receive company news releases by e-mail, please visit
www.fortunebrands.com.


   Short Name: Fortune Brands Inc.
   Category Code: PRL
   Sequence Number: 00002517
   Time of Receipt (offset from UTC): 20030304T163750+0000

                                                                                                                                                       

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