Home' National Liquor News : NLN AUG 2016 Contents 40 | AUGUST 2016 NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS
OUT OF THE BAR AND
INTO THE HOME
So what accounts for gin’s surging growth? Bombay Sapphire’s Forsyth
told National Liquor News that a two-pronged approach – on-premise
cocktail culture, and a resulting boom in off-premise “home mixology” –
had galvanised the brand. According to the ALSA-IRI State of the Industry
Report, Bombay posted growth of 28.4 per cent last year to extend its
lead as Australia’s most popular gin. Alongside its rival, Diageo-owned
Gordon’s, Bombay holds close to three-fifths of total category share.
“Consumers are becoming more and more interested in gastronomy.
This of course translates into consumers making hand-crafted cocktails at
home for their friends and family,” said Forsyth.
Australia’s mixology boom has been well-documented, and gin’s key
role in cocktails is equally well-known, but nevertheless, today’s cocktail
culture can’t be underestimated when discussing gin’s growth, says
Vanguard Luxury Brands CEO James France.
Vanguard, which distributes London favourite Fords Gin and the Yarra
Valley’s Four Pillars, among others, has seen “outstanding” growth across
its portfolio in the last twelve months.
“Cocktail culture has had a huge impact on gin’s growth. The top
bartenders generally have a disdain for vodka because it only adds
alcohol to a cocktail; nothing else... if a cocktail works with vodka it’ll
work 10-times better with gin,” said France.
Nicole Stanners, marketing director of Campari, agrees that a
“resurgence” of classic cocktails – the Negroni, Gin Fizz, Tom Collins
and classic G&T – has been a major driver in exporting gin’s influence
Campari’s Bulldog Gin label has experienced nearly 30 per cent growth
last quarter, double that of the wider gin category, and Stanners says
increasing awareness of pairing with tonics, foods and garnishes has also
flowed into consumers’ homes from on-premise.
“Consumers are experiencing well-made gin cocktails in bars around
the nation and the flow-on effect is consumers experimenting at home
with new flavours,” says Stanners.
Andrew Marks, the founder of the Yarra Valley-based Melbourne Gin
Company (MGC), says the MGC owes not only its sales, but its existence
to cocktail culture as the distillery was founded out of a desire to create
the perfect dry martini gin.
LOCAL GINS, BOLD FLAVOURS
LEADING THE CHARGE
Alongside the MGC and Four Pillars, a host of micro-distilleries have
sprung up in recent years, capitalising both on the increasingly discerning
palate of consumers and a wealth of unique local ingredients.
“The gin category is growing all over the world, here in Australia we
have the added advantage of some unique indigenous botanicals,” says
Nigel Weisbaum, sales and marketing manager at Archie Rose.
Sydney’s first dedicated distillery in more than a century, Archie Rose
recently took out a ‘Master Medal’ at the Global Distillery Masters
competition, held in the UK. Its signature gin features botanicals such as
Australian blood limes, Dorrigo pepper leaf, lemon myrtle and river mint.
Four Pillars, with its botanicals making up one of the brand’s four
eponymous pillars, also utilises lemon myrtle, as well as Tasmanian
pepper berry. Four Pillars gin uses triple-filtered water drawn from old
growth forests in the Yarra Valley.
Rob Tyson and Jane Overeem from Tasmania’s Lark Distillery believe
that native botanicals are driving the “continued move from the more
traditional style gins to bigger, bolder and more varied flavours of
the new world gins... People want to drink more unique and locally
More sophisticated profiles and powerful flavours aren’t unique to
local brands, says Campari’s Stanners, who highlights Bulldog’s use of
rare, exotic botanicals such as Dragon Eye, White Poppy and Lotus
Leaves, which are combined with a quadruple distillation process.
“WE HAVE FOCUSED ON DISTRIBUTING TO
INFLUENTIAL BARS AND RESTAURANTS AND ARE
NOW HAVING INDEPENDENT RETAILERS CONTACT
US AS THEIR REGULARS ARE ASKING FOR ARCHIE
ROSE SPECIFICALLY. WE NOW HAVE DEDICATED
BRAND AMBASSADORS FOR MELBOURNE, CANBERRA,
SYDNEY AND BRISBANE, RUNNING BOTTLE SHOP
TRAININGS AND SUPPORTING VENUES AT THE COAL
FACE,” WILL EDWARDS, ARCHIE ROSE.
Archie Rose Distillery.
Stuart Gregor and the
team at Four Pillars.
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