Home' National Liquor News : NLN APRIL 2016 Contents NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS APRIL 2016 | 41
than 80 per
cent of the RTD
the dark side
is growing at a
level than light
spirits, in fact it
is the growth in
dark spirits that
is driving the
growth in the
vehicle to drive consumer trial of the new vodka
and whiskey RTD flavours and amplify our support
through social media."
Absolut Botanik launched last year in both bottle
and can format with three flavours: Berry Lime; Berry
Pear and Berry Apple. The Berry Lime flavour has
proven to be particularly popular.
At the time Julien Hemard, managing director
Pernod Ricard Pacific, said: "This is one very exciting
product that is set to shake up the light RTD category,
recruiting new consumers into the category and into
the trade mark of Absolut."
He added: "Our aim is to turn around category
performance from decline to growth."
The $1.39 billion RTD Bourbon market accounts
for 75 per cent of total dark RTD sales. Within this,
Canadian Bourbon is the main driver of growth at 19
per cent. Canadian Club is a segment standout as the
only top five dark RTD brand (ranked by share) in
growth. The successful 'Over Beer?' marketing strategy
has helped to position Canadian Club as a light and
refreshing alternative to beer. Further to this, a recent
partnership with the inaugural Australian Open festival
has helped to solidify the brand's profile.
Meanwhile, Asahi Premium Beverages are
experimenting with size formats and on-pack
promotions to capture some of the dark RTD market.
The Woodstock One Footer has a new look, Kelly
Jones category manager says, "we are now placing
the barrel right into consumers hands via our iconic
440ml can, barrelled in American Oak, served in
barrel cans. We are leveraging our official bourbon
partnership of the V8 Supercars Championship
(V8SCA) via the new One Footer barrel pack and
the independent trade exclusive on-pack promotion.
Woodstock is offering consumers the chance to
win the ultimate Kuala Lumpur City Grand Prix
experience. This money can't buy experience is also
linked to a retailer and staff incentive. V8SCA is set
to be a headline act at the Kuala Lumpur City Grand
Prix for the next four years, staging a championship
round on the streets of the Malaysian capital.
Woodstock Bourbon has expanded its involvement
with V8SCA by taking the naming rights sponsorship
of the Woodstock Winton SuperSprint, the rural
Victorian event for the 2016 season, with a view to a
continued involvement in future. V8 Supercars chief
executive James Warburton welcomed the expansion
of Woodstock's involvement, saying it demonstrates
the value of the V8 Supercars Championship as a
marketing and brand-building platform. "It's fantastic
to see Woodstock expanding their involvement with
our sport to become the event naming rights sponsor
of the Woodstock Winton SuperSprint," he said.
"Woodstock will bring their unique personality to
Winton Raceway, and really is the perfect fit for
our annual visit to rural Victoria." The Woodstock
Winton SuperSprint will be held at Winton Motor
Raceway across the weekend of May 20-22.
The RTD Light segment declined -2.1 per cent
in 2015, which represents an improvement on the
value losses in 2014 (-7.2 per cent). Performance is
driven by RTD vodka, which has 86 per cent share
of the segment. The leading brand, Vodka Smirnoff,
returned to growth in 2015 (up 1.6 per cent) having
been in decline in 2014. Of the top 10 RTD vodka
brands, only Smirnoff and Absolut are in growth.
In terms of RTD, Drewe Letchford the head of
innovation and category development with Diageo
Australia, said that innovation is an important factor
for the company and it is continuing to look at ways
to help improve offerings for consumers.
"RTD is a significant part of our business and
Diageo is a significant part of the RTD category,
roughly a third of it," Letchford says. "Innovation
continues to be really important and RTD is a category
that requires a lot of innovation, so yes it's definitely
important to us as a business, it's definitely important
to retailers and also to consumers. They look for new
things in RTD and the trends do change."
In the recent past there has been a trend towards
higher ABV, so brands like Gentlemen Jack, Wild
Turkey Rare Breed, and Jim Beam's Devil's Cut have
served that trend and that has been driving a lot of the
growth in the last two years in the dark RTD segment.
But Letchford adds: "What we are seeing though,
is in the future we need to explore more diverse
ways of premiumising. Because of the high rate of
tax on RTD, ABV is one way to premiumise, but
premiumising through packaging, quality of liquid,
quality of mixer is probably one avenue that is yet to
be fully explored in the category and one that is likely
to drive growth in the future."
With the RTD category in Australia worth $2.3
billion, it is no wonder that producers are taking it
seriously and are determined to turn the category
around. And that is a determination that should be
making retailers take notice that despite of all the
doom and gloom that has generally surrounded RTDs
since the introduction of Rudd's RTD tax.
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