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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37 StateWays ■ ■ March/April 2016 ers to try new products. More consumers are being exposed to gin, primarily in the on-premise, but that translates to the off-premise," says Juli Falkoff, brand director of gins at Pernod Ricard USA. The company's portfolio includes three very different styles of gin. Beefeater is a quintessential London dry; Seagram's has a slightly sweeter profi le with hints of orange peel, cinnamon and lilac (the Seagram's Twisted variants feature fl avors such as pineapple, peach and melon); the unique Plymouth Gin has Protected Geographical Indication status and lists orris root and angelica root among its botanicals. Early this year, Pernod Ricard expanded its gin collection with the acquisition of a majority share in the Monkey 47 brand, a gin produced in the Black Forest of Germany. Monkey 47 is made from unusual botanicals including spruce tips, lingonberries, elderfl owers, sloes and blackberry leaves. "Our relationships with infl uential bartenders are key, as they educate consumers on new ways to enjoy our gin, which helps drive our on-premise sales," says Joanne Birkitt, senior vice president of global marketing for Bulldog Gin. "This in turn inspires consumers to look for and purchase Bulldog for at home occasions and gifting. We are experiencing growth in both channels." The English gin boasts 12 botanicals from eight countries around the world: Chinese dragon-eye, Turkish white poppy seeds, Asian lotus leaves, Italian juniper, Moroccan cori- ander, German angelica, Spanish lemon, Chinese licorice, Ital- ian orris, Spanish almonds, Asian cassia and French lavender. "In the off-premise there is a lot of shopper inertia, ver- sus low inertia on-premise," surmises Mooney. "On-premise decisions are made not by the guest, but by the establish- ment. The bartender recommends a gin or it's featured on the menu. We need to let the low-inertia, open-minded on- premise channel change the mind of the consumer, so that eventually they start going into the off-premise establish- ment with a new perspective on gin." DRIVING INTEREST Whether on- or off-premise, the proliferation and promotions of all these new brands and styles are generating a buzz about gin. But other factors are at work as well: gin's culinary con- nections, the lure of novelty and stories of craft and authentic- ity. All those herbs and spices that fi nd their way into the still infuser have established a culinary connection with gin. "The new gin drinkers are in their 20s and urban, with a strong foodie interest, and are very much interested in gin's botanicals and recipes," Fowkes says. Brockmans, he adds, is not the traditional London Dry style; botanicals include blue- berries, blackberries, licorice, Bulgarian coriander, orris root and cassia bark. "It appeals to those nurtured on vodka or who don't like that heavy juniper fl avor," he says "Pairing food with gin cocktails has become increasingly popular," says Gary Howard, North American brand ambas- sador for Bombay Sapphire. "Chefs understand the versatility of great gins and see them as a base for inspiration to pair with their dishes." Bombay Sapphire's botanical list includes Span- ish lemon peel, Moroccan coriander seeds, angelica and orris roots, cubeb berries and grains of paradise. The brand, says Howard, has positioned itself in the culi- nary world, through partnerships with leading chefs like Tom Colicchio and offering suggestions of cocktails pairings with dishes from those chefs. "The gin drinker is generally very in- terested in food as much as they are the drink," he says STORY TIME These days, consumers are very much interested in the process and lore of spirits. A good story, whether conveyed via social media, on the packaging, with retail hand-selling, in advertising or from brand ambassadors, helps sell bottles. "Consumers are interested in small-batch, craft gins that have a real person behind them and unique fl avor profi les," says Dina Clark, director at Terlato Artisan Spirits. The real person, in this case, is founder Mark Dawkins. The story is that he created Langley's No. 8 Gin with a very specifi c ABV (41.2%) and a collection of eight botanicals—all top secret. "There are so many stories associated with all of our gin brands, and Millennials love that aspect," Falkoff says. "Plym- outh has it in spades." Dating back to 1793, Plymouth is pro- duced in the old Black Friars Monastery. Legend has it that the Pilgrims stayed there before their historic voyage to the New World. The monk pictured on the bottle is a nod to that

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