Three years after creating the sweet and sour schnapps category, the Jim Beam Brands Worldwide unit of consumer products company Fortune Brands has shipped its one millionth case of DeKuyper Sour Apple Pucker. With 32% volume growth in 1999, the DeKuyper Pucker line of sweet and sour schnapps – led by Sour Apple Pucker — has driven sensational growth for the company’s DeKuyper brand. DeKuyper leads the U.S. cordials market with market share of 36%.

Continued success of the DeKuyper brand in 2000 is helping position the company’s spirits and wine business for another year of solid growth.

“At Fortune Brands, we’re creating growth by revolutionizing our categories with industry leading innovation,” said Fortune Brands Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Norm Wesley. “Our spirits and wine business invented the sweet and sour schnapps category, invented the Small Batch Bourbon category, and is creating new excitement in the marketplace with the new Vox ultra-premium luxury vodka. Blockbuster successes like DeKuyper Sour Apple Pucker are a result of our relentless commitment to innovation, creative marketing and our unparalleled feel for the consumer. It’s no wonder that across Fortune Brands, a quarter of our sales come from products introduced in just the past three years.”

Since its debut in April 1997, Pucker Sour Apple schnapps has exceeded all sales expectations. Sales of DeKuyper Pucker flavors – including Sour Apple, Watermelon, Cheri-Beri, Grape and Peach – surpassed 625,000 cases in 1999 and have continued to grow in 2000. DeKuyper Sour Apple Pucker has twice been named “Hot Brand of the Year” by Impact International, the beverage industry trade journal.

“With our brand-building investments in Jim Beam bourbon, gains from our Maxxium international distribution joint venture, and continued growth of our DeKuyper cordials, super-premium spirits brands and Geyser Peak wines, we’re targeting another year of solid growth for our spirits and wine business in 2000,” Wesley added. Wesley also reaffirmed Fortune Brands’ full year outlook for solid double-digit EPS growth. In 1999, the company’s spirits and wine brands achieved 9% contribution growth and accounted for 35% of Fortune Brands’ operating company contribution.

Fortune Brands, Inc. is a consumer products company with annual sales exceeding $5.5 billion. Its operating companies have premier brands and leading market positions in home products, office products, golf equipment and spirits and wine. Home brands include Moen faucets, Master locks and Aristokraft and Schrock cabinets sold by units of MasterBrand Industries. Office brands include Day-Timer, Swingline, Kensington and Wilson Jones sold by units of ACCO World Corporation. Acushnet Company’s golf brands include Titleist, Cobra and FootJoy. Major spirits and wine brands sold by units of Jim Beam Brands Worldwide, Inc. include Jim Beam and Knob Creek bourbons, DeKuyper cordials, Whyte & Mackay Scotch and Geyser Peak and Canyon Road wines. 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.

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This press release contains statements relating to future results, which are forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Readers are cautioned that these forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof. Actual results may differ materially from those projected as a result of certain risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to changes in general economic conditions, foreign exchange rate fluctuations, changes in interest rates, competitive product and pricing pressures, trade consolidations, the impact of excise tax increases with respect to distilled spirits, regulatory developments, the uncertainties of litigation, changes in golf equipment regulatory standards, the impact of weather, particularly on the home products and golf brand groups, expenses and disruptions related to shifts in manufacturing to different locations and sources, delays in the integration of recent acquisitions and joint ventures, as well as other risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in the Company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings.