Pernod Ricard Announces Facility Expansion, Malibu Rum To Be Bottled In Fort Smith Plant

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LITTLE ROCK (KFSM) — Pernod Ricard executives announced a production facility expansion on Monday (Oct. 10) that will create local jobs and increase “Made in the U.S.A.” products on Walmart shelves.

Governor Asa Hutchinson joined executives for the two companies in the Pernod Ricard/Hiram Walker plant in Fort Smith at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, as the Fort Smith-based distiller announced a capital investment that will allow Malibu Rum to be bottled at their facility, according to a press release.

Pernod Ricard will not be making the liquor at their plant, just bottling it. Previously Malibu Rum was bottled in Mexico.

Company officials said they expect locally bottled Malibu Rum will be on store shelves by November.

The Malibu production will require an additional 6,000 hours at the plant over the next year, said Melissa Hanesworth, managing director for Pernod Ricard’s Fort Smith plant. The company expects this increase will boost the seasonal workers to full time, and will also require additional workers at the facility.

However, Hanesworth said the expanded production will also create additional local jobs because the facility will require supplies, goods and services.

This Pernod Ricard expansion came as part of a collaborative effort between the company and Walmart, which has committed to buying an additional $250 billion in Made in America products.

Other products produced or bottled at the Fort Smith plant include Kahlua Liqueur, Seagram’s Gin and Smithworks Vodka.