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.

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Page 25 of 59 26 • March 2015 BURNETT'S VODKA HEAVEN HILL BRANDS FAST TRACK 2014 Cases sold: 2.61 million (+11.0%) Burnett's growth has been bolstered by the fl avored category's explosion during the past few years. The brand launched two new fl avors last year— strawberry banana and ruby red grapefruit—as well as a new marketing campaign emphasizing the fun of consumption. "In the year ahead, we'll be continuing the 'More Fun with Burnett's' campaign and launching two new fl avors," says Kate Latts, director of marketing at Heaven Hill. "We'll also continue our in-store merchandising program with a new display that looks like a blue Solo cup, which is a major way the brand is consumed at young, fun, house-party environments." As the fl avored vodka market has softened in the past year, Burnett's has seen a resurgence in sales of its 80-proof vodka and is shifting some promotions as a result. Despite the market conditions, Latts believes Burnett's is well positioned for continued success in fl avors. "We've been very prudent to launch fl avors that fi t with Burnett's equity and have consumer relevance," she says. "We've seen so many brands launch so many fl avors, and we feel the consumer eventually said, 'enough already!' We've tried not to follow the candy and confectionary fl avor craze off the cliff." Burnett's is analyzing its distribution partnerships to optimize which sizes and fl avors should appear in each market, working on an account-by-account basis. "We're really trying to paint he picture of our distribution and fl avor mix with a fi ner paint brush to see which products are working best," Latts says. RUMCHATA AGAVE LOCO BRANDS FAST TRACK 2014 Cases sold: 5,400 (+17.4%) Last year, RumChata entered the top-ten list of liqueur brands in the U.S. The brand continued to improve distribution and advertised in 22 top markets in the fourth quarter, according to founder and Master Blender Tom Maas. "We spent at a level last year that would be in the top-fi ve liquor brands," he says. RumChata will continue to expand shelf presence in 2015, and look for new points of distribution, as well as seek additional features in menus on-premise. The brand has increased its advertising budget by 75% for the coming year. Deep Eddy, which launched in 2010 in Austin, TX, with a sweet-tea-fl avored vodka, expanded to nationwide distribution as of last year. The Fast Track brand went from 190,000 cases sold in 2013 to 455,000 sold in 2014. Deep Eddy's growth was also fueled by the release of its Ruby Red grapefruit-infused vodka. GLOBAL WHISKIES SHOW GROWTH Like their American counterparts, imported whiskies registered impressive growth in 2014, stemming from innovative product extensions, consumer engagement and marketing initiatives. Tullamore Dew opened a $50 million, state-of-the-art distillery in 2014, marking the return of whiskey production to the Irish town of Tullamore 60 years after the original facility closed. This new distillery "puts us fi rmly in control of our destiny, as we can now match production to demand," the brand said. What's more, the brand premiered its fi rst-ever national commercial during the fi nale of The Colbert Report on Comedy Central—reaching an audience of 30 million. Tullamore Dew this year will debut the Daniel E. Williams Snug, an immersive brand experience that mimics the classic Irish snug commonly found in pubs, consisting of a small, cozy room for loyal patrons to enjoy their drams in private. Another Irish whiskey, 2 Gingers, expanded from limited distribution in 2014 to nationwide availability. Founder Kieran Folliard and the team from Beam Suntory coordinated a Road Show in a customized Airstream, allowing bartenders, distributors and consumers to discover the Big Ginger, the brand's trademarked cocktail (2 Gingers mixed with ginger ale, served with lemon and lime slices). "The road show presented an exceptional opportunity for us to spread the word and offi cially introduce 2 Gingers from coast to coast," says Claire Richards, director of world whiskey and Cognac for Beam Suntory, which acquired the brand in 2012. "We continued the momentum with the implementation of a national sampling program in both the on- and off-premise, driving trial and growth for the brand." WALKING THE LINE In the Scotch category, Johnnie Walker Black Label made the "Keep Walking" campaign a focus, after it was relaunched the previous year. The brand used a multimedia program, as well as limited edition gift boxes, to toast "Keep Walking" occasions like fatherhood, a new job or retirement. The brand also introduced two new innovations—Johnnie Walker Platinum Label and Double Black—which have provided more Scotch occasions for consumers. Buchanan's, a Diageo brand like Johnnie Walker, launched a new campaign in 2014, called "A Lo Grande," and simultaneously expanded the brand distribution beyond California and Texas to reach new consumers. Buchanan's also became the offi cial spirits sponsor of the Latin Grammys and continued a partnership with the Latin Billboards—two of Latin music's biggest nights. Canadian whisky Revel Stroke has engaged consumers through social media, as well as through on-premise promotions like "Seek the Stroke," which encouraged consumers to seek out Revel Stroke locally. "We're excited to say that our growth is being driven not only by our loyal fan base, but also by our new Stroke customers," says Marla Burke, director of marketing for Phillips Distilling Co.. The company plans to continue building the brand across the entire portfolio, which includes pecan, spiced and cinnamon fl avors, as well as the straight Canadian whisky. But based on the success of pecan, "we'll be increasing our marketing efforts on-premise with tastings and promotional activities to induce trial and purchase," Burke says. AN OLD RUM AND A NEW RUM Two Heaven Hill rums, Admiral Nelson and Blackheart Spiced Rum, won Growth Brand Awards this year. 2015 GROWTH BRAND AWARDS – SPIRITS

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