Home' National Liquor News : NLN FEB 2016 Contents 68 | FEBRUARY 2016 NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS
BACARDI LION WILL FOCUS
ON BECOMING MORE
ENTREPRENEURIAL AND SETTING
UP ITS BACK OFFICE SYSTEMS
AS IT BECOMES A STANDALONE
SUBSIDIARY OF BACARDI-MARTINI
WHAT WERE SOME OF THE
HIGHLIGHTS FOR BACARDI
The main highlight for us in 2015 was hosting
the Bacardi Legacy final in April. We had
the opportunity to host 34 countries at the
competition and it’s since been rated as the best
Bacardi Legacy final to date, which is a terrific
success for us. We’re really impressed with
what we were able to achieve there.
In the off-trade, and in line with the
popularity of cider we were able to launch two
new cider products into the market in 2015. The
first was our 42Below Applejacks, which is a
fusion of 42Below Vodka and cider made from
New Zealand apples. The second was Magners
Blonde, a lower carb cider that we launched
as we saw there was a clear opportunity in the
market to offer drinkers a more sessionable cider
that they could enjoy without the concern of a
high carb or sugar intake.
In early 2015, we also launched new
packaging for Bacardi for the first time in more
than a decade, which has been received really
well in the market.
Overall, a lot of our brand building exercises
have been around experiential events, aimed at
educating consumers so they then go into the
off-trade. These included Bombay Sapphire’s
Project Botanicals, which was a cocktail and
dining experience as well as La Boulangerie
for Grey Goose, which was a pop-up bar and
WHAT IS THE IMMEDIATE
FOCUS FOR BACARDI?
The coming year will be a year of change for our
business as we transition out of our joint venture
with Lion and become a standalone subsidiary of
Bacardi Martini in April. So our immediate focus
is building and testing all of those back office
systems to ensure that we are all good to go in
April. Until then we remain with Lion systems.
The next 12 months will see us as a business
becoming more entrepreneurial and working
more as part of a family company.
WHAT IS YOUR KEY
MESSAGE TO RETAILERS?
Work with us to build the capabilities of
our staff to be easier to work with, more
commercially astute and more customer-focused.
We plan to establish category building
programs such as ‘cocktails at home’. Work
with us on tax and licensing reform.
HOW DO YOU VIEW YOUR
ROLE IN THE INDUSTRY?
We’ve got to be responsible corporate citizens.
We’re a sixth generation family company, we’ve
been selling Bacardi for 150 years and I am
sure we will be here for at least another 150
years, so we’ve got to be responsible.
We’ve got to make high quality drinks and
we need to educate and promote how to make
memorable experiences for the trade and
WHAT CHALLENGES IS YOUR
As with all suppliers in the industry, we
are facing the same challenges, such as tax
increases twice a year, which we see widening
the gap between spirits, beer and wine.
Also, changing regulations such as the
lockout laws and managing the ambiguity and
inconsistency of what can be served. This is an
issue that I think needs to be urgently addressed
by the industry. Why is it not ok to serve a
single malt or a vodka martini after midnight,
which is one standard drink, but I can buy a
bottle of wine, which is seven standard drinks?
As an industry we need to figure out how we
can work with the community and the police
to come up with a better solution. We’ve also
got to find a way that discourages pre-fuelling,
because I feel great empathy for outlet owners,
if someone has had an unknown number of
drinks before they walk into your venue, and
then they have one drink, you are responsible
for that person, and that’s tough.
Some of the challenges we are facing are
positive, such as working out how we can
better understand Millennials and how we can
better embrace digital technology. I’ve found
that some of our older reps are our best digital
advocates, but the challenge is how as an entire
business do we become digital natives?
WHAT PLANS DO YOU HAVE
TO ENGAGE THE TRADE TO
DRIVE SALES IN 2016?
We try to work with our customers and their
plans, which is an all year-round activity.
We’ve got plans set out for the next 18 months,
to March 2017, and it’s then trying to work
on those high level plans to tailor them and
create joint plans with our customers, which
will help to grow their sales and categories.
We have room to improve here as we increase
understanding of our growing categories and
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE
COMING TRENDS FOR 2016?
The desire for better health and wellbeing,
and the growth of small bars is driving more
Aperitivo opportunities. Low-carb, less sugar,
mid-strength, refreshing drinks with European
style such martini and tonic, St-Germain and
Prosecco, Grey Goose Le Fizz. Another trend
is the desire for more flavour, just look at the
massive growth of spiced and premium rums,
single malts whiskies and gin.
“The coming year will be a year of change for
our business as we transition out of our joint
venture with Lion and become a standalone
subsidiary of Bacardi Martini in April.”
AUSTRALIA PTY LIMITED
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