Home' National Liquor News : NLN FEB 2017 Contents 88 | FEBRUARY 2017 NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS
KATHLEEN DAVIES, SALES & MARKETING DIRECTOR
NIP OF COURAGE
WHAT WERE THE HIGHLIGHTS FOR
NIP OF COURAGE IN 2016?
Definitely one of the biggest highlights was
being listed in the world’s best restaurant
Noma when they did the pop up in Sydney.
Twenty-four products from the Nip of Courage
portfolio were selected and exclusively ranged
in the restaurant, which really highlighted
McHenry Distillery launched its very first
whisky, which had been five years in the
making and was a massive milestone for the
McHenry Distillery business.
At Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans
we showcased 20 different Australian spirits
in a seminar called Uniquely Australian and
took across four Australian distillers and
basically showcased what Australia has to
offer in terms of being a unique in everything
from the method of how we make spirits to
different botanicals we use to make us uniquely
Australian, and that was really well received.
We’ve signed up with an importer now, it took
us a year but we’ve done it, which is what
we’re working on for 2017.
Another big milestone was Belgrove
Distillery winning the delicious In the Bottle
award, just the recognition for Peter Bignell is
amazing because he is such an amazing distiller
and it’s just been a really hard slog for him
being the only rye whiskey distiller in Australia
and not really having the budget to market
it. So it’s nice now seeing him getting some
recognition for his hard work over the years.
The successful crowd-funding campaign for
Aussie Tipple was another highlight as it marked
our successful launch into a new category in
Australian spirits and we’ll hopefully be taking
that to new heights in 2017.
The Aussie Tipple Company came into
fruition after seeing international growth trends
in both the pre-batched category as well as
the craft spirits category, so the Aussie Tipple
Company is able to forge together Australia’s
finest distillers and see the emergence of this
trend in Australia, supporting Australian craft
distillers. So their stories are all written on the
back of the bottles.
From that campaign we are also donating to
a charity called ‘Buy a Bale’ which helps all of
the farmers who actually grow the grain that
distillers use. So all of the distillers that we use
with Aussie Tipple are rural and the charity is
all about helping Aussie rural farmers.
IN WHICH AREAS DID YOU SEE THE
In terms of categories we saw gin, rum and
whisky all being the three strong contenders
seeing the most growth. In terms of channels
for our business it was restaurants, and in
terms of regions it was actually NSW.
In the past in NSW we have found that a
lot of the larger companies that are based in
Sydney have tended to lock down a lot of the
distribution, but we have noticed a bigger spike
in sales in 2016 in the area, whereas in the past
it has been one of our weaker states.
WHAT WERE SOME OF THE
CHALLENGES IN 2016?
One of the big challenges has been with drink
menus. You walk into venues who claim to
support Australian producers and you see big
lists of Australian beers and a beautiful range of
Australian wines but when it comes to spirits they
list overseas brands. So I think there is still a lot of
venues uniformed about Australian craft spirits.
The other challenge has been that
Australians consume less than one per cent of
Australian owned and Australian made spirits
compared to regions like the US and UK where
it’s about four to five per cent.
Ninety per cent of Australian craft
distilleries are based in rural areas which
means that not many people or the general
public that live in the major cities know about
them, so they have less chance of exposure,
and if these distilleries don’t have the money,
marketing or PR to promote themselves then
they pretty much go unnoticed.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS
OPPORTUNITIES IN 2017?
Definitely export with the US. With now having
an importer and distributors in three states, we’re
in a good position to have a good crack at that
market. It will be a stronger emphasis on white
spirits so that we can maintain manufacturing
because we don’t have enough aged spirit
for export. We will also be taking some rye
whiskey and white rye as well, because the US
are absolutely fascinated with Peter Bignell and
Belgrove Distillery. When we went to Tales of
the Cocktail he was like a rock star. He is almost
better known over there than he is here.
The other thing would be expanding into
channels more like hotels and restaurants with
having the bottled cocktails and being able to
reach out to people outside of metro areas as well.
And new categories would definitely
be a major opportunity as well with the
introduction of the Aussie Tipple bottled
WHAT KEY FACTORS SHOULD THE
INDUSTRY BE DISCUSSING?
It’s a hard one but I think economic
sustainability because I think manufacturing in
Australia is disappearing and the reliance on
importing spirits is still very strong. If we’re
talking about that in the trade then about
99 per cent of spirits consumed in Australia
are from overseas and the bigger companies
actually rule what happens here. So for me, I
think it’s about economic sustainability and
we should be trying to support economic
sustainability and supporting local producers
to be able to keep money in Australia and build
our export markets as well.
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