Cheers - March/April 2016

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.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 34 of 59 35 March/April 2016 • history behind their drinks, and the brand attributes its growth can be to a heightened awareness and appreciation for the versatility and complexity of tequila, according to the Don Julio brand team. This is inspiring consumers and mixologists to seek out and use tequila in a variety of ways. FLAVORS ON THE RISE The recent surge in liqueur sales is led by fl avored whiskeys, which don't fi t neatly into the category and may necessitate a separate distinction in the near future. Fast Track winner Fireball grew at exponential rates over the past decade and is now a top-ten spirit at nearly 5 million cases sold. The cinnamon-fl avored whisky is both "humbled and excited" to be named a Growth Brand winner and "owes it all to our great Fireball nation of fans," according to senior marketing director Becky Henry. As for the Sazerac brand's plans in 2016? "More of the same— we'll leave the growth in the hands of our nation of fans," she adds. Brown-Forman's sibling brands Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey and Jack Daniel's Tennessee Fire are both Rising Star winners this year, after capitalizing on the fl avored-whiskey trend. Both brands are focused on promotions that bring younger consumers to the Jack Daniel's brand, including celebrity partnerships with K. Michelle and Mila J. "Popularity in whiskey continues to grow, as consumers from other spirit categories are starting to explore whiskey for the fi rst time," says Jack Daniel's Flavors Brand Director Casey Nelson. "Jack Honey and Jack Fire offer the confi dence of a trusted, iconic brand, and the smooth, approachable taste making for an excellent entry point into whiskey." Western Spirits' Bird Dog is another Fast Track winner for the whisky category this year. The brand focused heavily in off-premise around displays and seasonal programming in summer and fall 2015. "Being in the fastest-growing category has really helped accelerate brand growth," says vice president of marketing Jon Holecz. "With Bird Dog continuing to focus on unique fl avor offerings, we are giving our customers and new consumers a chance to experience something different." OTHER NOTABLE SPIRITS Campari America's namesake brand won a Fast Track award this year—not something you'd expect from a 150-year old cordial. Campari invested heavily in 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 vice president 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 2016 GROWTH BRAND AWARDS SPIRITS SPIRIT HALL of FAMERS Crown Royal and Ketel One were both inducted into the Growth Brands Hall of Fame in 2015. This year, both Diageo spirits were named Established Growth brands. Crown Royal crossed the 5-million-case mark in 2015 (to 5.3 million), growing by 17.9%—the most among this year's Established Growth Brands. Now a 19-time Growth Brands Award winner, Crown Royal launched a number of extensions in recent years, including Crown Royal Maple and Crown Royal Regal Apple. Its Northern Harvest Rye was also recently named World Whisky of the Year by Jim Murray. "Being recognized as a Growth Brands winner further proves that providing consumers with new, quality whiskies in the portfolio—many of which feature the amazing component whiskies that go into our Deluxe blend—has allowed us to grow as a respected brand for both novice and expert whisky consumers," says vice president of Crown Royal Yvonne Briese. She adds that the rise of rye, and the cocktail movement in general, has benefi ted Crown Royal and driven some of its growth. "Consumers and bartenders are being driven to rye whisky for its spicier tasting profi le that serves classic and craft cocktails," she says. "We've been able to provide a rye whisky that's versatile enough for classic cocktails, but can also be sipped neat or on the rocks." Ketel One grew 0.9% in 2015, during a year in which the vodka category overall is struggling to continue its recent growth trajectory. The brand sold 2.18 million cases, earning Ketel One a 16th Growth Brands Award. "In a year where Ketel One will host a global celebration honoring the Nolet Family Distillery's 325th anniversary, we could not be more proud of this achievement," says eleventh-generation distiller Carl Nolet, Jr. "Our new creative campaign in 2015, 'Our Life's Work,' paid homage to the family's commitment to distilling expertise." The brand will concentrate on classic cocktail trends in 2016, with a focus on the Dutch Mule and Martini, in addition to the anniversary celebration in May. "We are seeing consumers' desire for brands that represent authenticity, heritage and craftsmanship," Nolet says. "They want to connect with products they are choosing and with the story behind them." To capitalize on that trend, Ketel One will continue to convey the brand's heritage story, as well as its commitment to quality and taste.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Cheers - Cheers - March/April 2016