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 26 of 59 27 March 2015 • Admiral Nelson debuted a premium, updated look in 2014 following the company's acquisition of the brand in 2011, according to Heaven Hill's director of marketing Kate Latts. "I think you saw the effects of that new look in 2014, coupled with premium POS and merchandising items, including a wooden core to be used outside in the summer months, supporting consumption for outdoor occasions," she says. In the coming year, the brand will add high-value display items, such as a wooden bar cart for on-premise. It also plans to launch Admiral Nelson Black Patch, a 94-proof black rum. Blackheart Spiced Rum, on the other hand, saw its fi rst year of national advertising in 2014 through a close partnership with Playboy magazine. "We created a custom Blackheart-branded mini-magazine that went into every copy of Playboy one issue, which was really engaging," Latts says. "It capitalized on the bolder, edgier segment of the spiced rum category and surpassed all of our goals. Blackheart will begin sponsoring Mixed Martial Arts fi ghting as the offi cial rum of the series this year. This involves signage, arena branding, television advertising on the Spike network, and a continuation of the print program with Playboy. A QUARTER-MILLENNIUM OF GROWTH As Hennessy celebrates its 250th year, it continues with the mantra "Never stop. Never settle." That campaign, along with a collaboration with singer Nas, helped drive awareness around the Cognac brand in 2014. "We also recently held the 11th annual V.S.O.P Privilege Awards and honored Shark Tank investor and FUBU founder Daymond John for his commitment to mentorship and fostering entrepreneurship within his community," says brand manager Jacqueline Long. The brand will pay homage to Hennessy's 250-year legacy and heritage throughout 2015, releasing a limited edition Cognac and showcasing the Hennessy 250 Tour at Lincoln Center in New York. PASSION FOR THE PECULIAR As a category, gin has had considerable ups and downs. So how has Hendrick's Gin manage to sustain its growth since the brand was founded in 1999? The brand attributes its success to the passion of the team at distributor William Grant & Sons, as well as enthusiasm of mixologists. Bartenders nationwide have embraced the gin with its unique taste, character and ability to craft cocktails. Hendrick's launched a traveling event called the Emporium of the Unusual last year. The show visited six cities and welcomed more than 16,000 people into the Hendrick's brand world. The company says it plans to build upon that program in 2015, but "bring it to a new peculiar level this year." ANGEL'S ENVY LOUISVILLE DISTILLING CO. RISING STAR 2014 Cases sold: 64,000 (+52.4%) Q&A with Andrea Myers, vice president and brand director for Angel's Envy Bourbon CHEERS: What marketing or promotional programs in 2014 most contributed to growth for Angel's Envy? AM: We continued to invest in our Whiskey Guardians ambassador program this past year—they're the folks who truly drive brand growth from the ground up. They're the face of the brand in local markets and devoted loyalists. We also expanded into new markets and continued or limited releases, including Rye (fi nished in rum casks) and Cask Strength. CHEERS: What are you planning for 2015 to build on the growth from the past year? AM: We've increased our sales goals for 2015 and our number of new market openings. We'll continue to provide some of the best POS in the category, and we plan to execute more local advertising. We're also going to continue with the highly successful Whiskey Guardian program. MÉNAGE À TROIS VODKA TRINCHERO FAMILY ESTATES RISING STAR 2014 Cases sold: 22,000 (--) Ménage à Trois Vodka, like its sister wine brand of the same name, is targeting its core audience with both social media and public relations efforts. The brand is connecting with both vodka and wine consumers to share messaging across the portfolio. The vodka brand sources its spring water in California, which is where the next level of marketing efforts will focus, especially in the second half of 2015. When Trinchero Family Estates purchased the wine brand in 2004, it grew from a small red blend into a top-seller and Growth Brand winner; the company hopes to do the same with Ménage à Trois Vodka in the years ahead. LARCENY HEAVEN HILL DISTILLERIES RISING STAR 2014 Cases sold: 30,000 (--) Larceny Bourbon has a problem many brands would be happy to deal with—there's not enough of it to go around. "We launched in ten lead markets a few years ago, and we would love to expand to more if we had enough product to supply them," says Kate Latts, Heaven Hill's director of marketing. The story behind the brand is that John E. Fitzgerald was a tax collector who used to audit bourbon warehouses. The legend goes that he used to help himself to a little bit of the whiskey during his patrols. With the tagline "A taste made famous by an infamous act," the brand appeals to whiskey drinkers seeking a story with their drink. "In the year ahead, we're expanding to two new markets (Tennessee and Pennsylvania), and we look forward to fueling the growth of this brand with additional retail merchandising and our whiskey ambassador program," Latts says. 2015 GROWTH BRAND AWARDS – SPIRITS

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