StateWays - March/April 2016

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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StateWays ■ ■ March/April 2016 26 2016 GROWTH BRAND AWARDS SPIRITS Q&A WITH PATRÓN Patrón earned its 14th Growth Brands award this year (for Established Growth) and will likely join the Hall of Fame in 2017. Both the original tequila and its cousin Roca Patrón, a Rising Star for its 11.1% growth in 2015, are leading the superpremium tequila category. We sat down with Greg Cohen, vice president of corporate communications at Patrón Spirits, to learn more about the company's two fast-growing brands. SW: What promotions or activations in 2015 led to these brands' growth? GC: We had a very busy year, introducing a number of special release tequilas and packaging—including a partnership with Lalique, our fi rst ever 1-liter bottle and the limited edition Patrón Extra Añejo 7 Años. And our focus on innovation wasn't just limited to products; we also introduced a virtual reality experience leveraging Oculus technology, which took people on an immersive tour of our distillery in Mexico. SW: Which industry trends are most contributing to the growth at Patrón right now? GC: Appreciation for high-quality, ultra-premium spirits continues to grow across the globe. People are becoming more aware and educated about sophisticated spirits, and they're seeking new and unique taste experiences. It's an especially exciting time for tequila—no other spirits category has evolved this quickly, changing its image and perception so dramatically. Patrón is widely credited for leading that evolution. its promotion of Negroni Week, supporting the on- premise event with social media, media relations and events, advertising, POS and in-bar collateral and marketing partnerships. More than 3,500 accounts participated from 44 countries, an increase of nearly 200% over 2014. The week raised more than $321,000 for charities around the world. "A major contributing factor in Campari's unprecedented growth has been the bartender," says VP of Marketing for white spirits and cordials, Richard Black. "No other fi gure in the spirits industry has the amount of infl uence as the person standing behind the bar to drive drink trends." Another century-old brand, Buchanan's, is an Established Growth winner this year. The Diageo Scotch whisky focuses its marketing efforts on the multicultural consumer, particularly Hispanics, which has been a key to growth. The brand partners with music and entertainment platforms to engage with customers and infl uencers. In 2015, Buchanan's also redesigned its packaging for three out of four whiskies for the fi rst time in 23 years. "Over the past few years, Buchanan's has grown a stake and equity in the world of Latin music and we will continue to support these high-profi le music platforms and up-and- coming Hispanic music talent that embody the spirit of our brand and our founder," says Diageo's Scotch whisky, North America Director Brian Cox. A much younger brand, Fast Track winner Tito's Handmade Vodka, is among the few shining stars in its category. Tito's began 2015 with a "Fresh Start" program that shared with consumers how the founder's own fresh start led him down a path to follow his passion and skills. As a company, Fifth Generation wants to actively help other companies get started and help loyal consumers explore meaningful endeavors. "When Tito launched his vodka twenty years ago, no one in the industry was speaking about the craft spirits movement," says EVP of Sales, Peter Angus. "Tito's foresight has pioneered the way for literally hundreds, if not thousands, of other craft spirits to share their creations from coast to coast. You can legitimately say he has helped birth the craft spirit movement in the U.S., much the way Jim Koch pioneered the craft beer movement." Finally, distiller Heaven Hill led all spirit suppliers this year with nine winners (second place was Diageo with fi ve). Included in that list are a diverse group of brands, from Blackheart Spiced rum to Larceny Bourbon to newly- acquired Deep Eddy Vodka. "Quality and variety are the characteristics we think consumers embrace, which are consistent across the entire range of products from Heaven Hill Brands," says VP of Marketing Kate Latts. "These award- winning brands deliver unique and compelling experiences for their core consumers through innovative marketing and promotional programs, with the range covering the entire spectrum of this great industry." "These award-winning brands deliver unique and compelling experiences for their core consumers through innovative marketing and promotional programs, with the range covering the entire spectrum of this great industry."

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