StateWays - January/February 2017

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

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Page 17 of 43

DARK RUM | CATEGORY UPDATE IMPORTS Gain Identities Identities I n the good old days, when white spirits reigned supreme, imported vodka brands had it easy. Imports offered the cachet of exotic origins, elegance, pres- tige and luxury. For American consumers, calling for an imported brand at the bar or retail store proved they were cool and sophisticated. But times have certainly changed. Today, consumers' ideas about what constitutes coolness and quality have evolved. It takes more than vague claims of exoticism and marketing hype. Authenticity is the new touch- stone with customers looking for the real deal—and they want brands to prove their claims. h BY THOMAS HENRY STRENK StateWays | | January/February 2017 18

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