Cheers March 2015

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 24 of 59 25 March 2015 • up the energy with a second tour this year. We have high expectations that the competitors can out-create the courageous geniuses behind the bartops last year." Patron used social media in 2014 to connect with the brand's consumers: It began the year with hardly any social media presence and ended 2014 as the top spirit brand on Twitter and among a handful of the top brands on Facebook. "Our brand has a lot of swagger, and it's become ubiquitous, but what's often lost in that is that we're a small-batch, handcrafted, artisanal tequila," says Lee Applbaum, Patron's chief marketing offi cer. "We just produce a lot of it in very small batches. In the past year, the company has concentrated on better telling that story through traditional, digital and social media, as well as event and experiential activations. Since a year is not long enough to convey that artisanal process and history, Patron plans to continue that focus on telling its story through unique promotions and events. Those include what Applbaum calls a "game-changer," which will be unveiled in the spring. Omeca Altos Tequila lives by the credo, "tasting is believing." The brand uses three-wheeled taco bikes in restaurants and bars offering tacos to accompany samples of the tequila. In 2014 it also invited consumers to interactive experiences in liquor and grocery stores, where they could try to match wits with the brand's Master Distiller, Jesus Hernandez. In the coming year, Omeca Altos plans to invite even more bartenders to events that celebrate them and the brand's "invented by bartenders" origin, as well as investing in new campaigns. "Everyone deserves great tequila at an affordable price," the brand said in a statement. "We have confi dence that consumers will deliver Altos because we deliver." VODKA DOWN, BUT NOT OUT The vodka category—especially the fl avored vodka segment—isn't what it once was, but there are some standouts who rose above their peers and sustained growth in 2014. Belvedere's main catalyst for growth last year was its "Know the Difference" campaign, which educated consumers about how rye, water and character make Belvedere different. "It was very successful in promoting knowledgeable choice," says Virginia Lawson, Belvedere's brand director. "In addition, the launch of Mango Passion continued the brand's path of innovation and helped increase momentum." Belvedere also partnered with Sony Entertainment and EON Productions on the 24th installment of the James Bond franchise, Spectre. The vodka brand feels that the movie be a major growth driver in 2015. The marketing program around the fi lm will include a global advertising campaign and activation rights around the release. For Roust's (formerly Russian Standard) Green Mark Vodka, being named a Growth Brand winner means the company is achieving its goal of more consumers enjoying its spirit. "That's our number-one priority," says Tom Lewis, senior brand manager at Roust USA. "We're proud to have built a core following of the brand since the launch, and expect to grow gradually through targeted promotions to drive trial and word-of-mouth." Devotion Vodka, the gluten-free and sugar-free spirit, doesn't have the marketing budget of a global brand, so its philosophy "since day one has been to roll up our sleeves and work harder than everyone else," says CEO Drew Adelman. "We remain committed to focusing our marketing on the grassroots level, as it's been a competitive advantage for us." Devotion plans to debut two new fl avors in the spring, as well as create more promotional signage, special in-store events and social media campaigns to create additional awareness. FIREBALL SAZERAC CO. FAST TRACK 2014 Cases sold: 3.90 million (+108.3%) Q&A with Becky Henry, marketing director for Fireball CHEERS: What industry trends are most contributing to the growth in Fireball sales? BH: Fireball was the first company to have great success with flavored whiskey, and we set the trend for the category. We're happy being the ones setting industry trends, but Fireball goes beyond a category; it's one of a kind. CHEERS: What does it mean to you to be named a Growth Brand winner? BH: We are both excited and humbled. We owe it all to our great Fireball nation of fans. CHEERS: What makes Fireball stand out from other fl avored spirits on the market? BH: It tastes like heaven, burns like Hell. CHEERS: Are there any plans for line extensions in the near future? BH: Sorry, some things we have to keep secret! CASAMIGOS TEQUILA SYDNEY FRANK IMPORTING CO. RISING STAR 2014 Cases sold: 38,000 (+123.5%) Q&A with Lee Einsidler, CEO of Sidney Frank Importing Co. CHEERS: What promotions, events, or other sales initiatives contributed to Casamigo's growth in 2014? LE: The award-winning product and the people behind it speak for themselves. CHEERS: What are you planning for 2015 that will assure the brand's continued growth and success? LE: As more people continue to learn about Casamigos Tequila, the biggest concern we have is ensuring we have enough production to keep up with demand. 2015 GROWTH BRAND AWARDS – SPIRITS

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Cheers - Cheers March 2015