Home' National Liquor News : NLN FEB 2018 Contents 102 | FEBRUARY 2018 NATIONAL LIQUOR NEWS
WHAT WERE SOME OF THE
HIGHLIGHTS FOR WILLIAM GRANT
& SONS (WG&S) IN 2017?
There were a number of highlights in 2017 that
as a business we are all very proud of. Firstly, the
WG&S business in Australia has continued to
implement its strategic change program and I’m
delighted in the way our customers and team here
internally have embraced the new ways in which
we go to market and present our wonderful
portfolio. As a small player in the spirits category,
we have worked very hard to engage with our
customers to develop more collaborative working
and trading relationships with them.
We have continued to drive value growth
for our customers’ premium spirits categories
and we’re delighted that the trade feedback
continues to indicate that our business is
increasingly being recognised as improving in
all aspects of what we do.
The launch of the Glenfiddich Experimental
Series was consolidated this year and new
variants of IPA and XX (pronounced 20) have
been well and truly established. Both these
new and premium Glenfiddich expressions
have brought new news to the malt category
and have tapped into shoppers and drinkers’
increasing knowledge and curiosity of malt
IN WHICH AREAS DID YOU SEE THE
MOST AMOUNT OF GROWTH?
As has been the case for some years now,
Australians are drinking ‘less but better’ and
this trend has greatly assisted a business like
ours which is firmly positioned in the premium
and above sector of spirits.
We see our business as one which can greatly
support our trading partners in developing
their own premium and above portfolios;
particularly with malt Scotch whisky, premium
gin and spiced rum.
Malt Scotch whisky is an area which is
underdeveloped in the Australian market
and with leading brands such as Glenfiddich,
The Balvenie and Monkey Shoulder we
see enormous potential with assisting our
customers to premiumise their own sales
through our brand building capability and
reputation as their ‘Scotch whisky experts’.
The gin segment continues to flourish
and premiumise and Hendrick’s Gin has
contributed significantly to where the gin
segment stands today.
WHAT MAJOR CHALLENGES HAVE
YOU HAVE FACED IN 2017?
Apart from the ongoing challenges of our
dynamic but extraordinarily competitive
industry and market, the most important
challenge we continue to face is the ever
increasing taxation on spirits.
The Australian spirits sector is contributing
positively and responsibly to the more mature
and safer drinking culture in our country,
yet spirits continue to be taxed unfairly and
disproportionately versus other alcohol categories:
• Australian drinkers currently pay nearly 20
times the tax on a cocktail compared to cask
wine, four times as much as a cider and more
than twice as much as a packaged beer.
• Since 2000 the tax on spirits has increased by
over 50 per cent.
• Spirits excise continues to increase twice
These are facts and simply don’t support nor
contribute to the long term sustainability of
the spirits industry. It inhibits investment and
will eventually get in the way of supporting
the emerging and flourishing local Australian
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS MAJOR
OPPORTUNITIES FOR WG&S OVER
THE NEXT 12 MONTHS?
Apart from our leading brands of Glenfiddich,
Hendrick’s Gin, Grant’s and The Balvenie we
have a number of real emerging ‘heroes’ such
as Monkey Shoulder; a blended malt Scotch,
Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum; Australia’s number
one spiced rum and the relaunch of one of the
world’s most iconic spirit brands in Drambuie.
Apart from Scotch whisky, we also see
the Irish whiskey category as an exciting
one to develop. William Grant & Sons owns
Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey and this year our
business commenced distilling in the new plant
in Tullamore. We see our Irish blend having
immense appeal for the increasingly discerning
and premium Australian spirit consumer.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE BIG
TRENDS FOR 2018?
We get really excited about how consumers
and shoppers are exploring Scotch whisky,
gin and spiced rum as well as their increasing
experimentation and knowledge of cocktails.
The reason we are excited about this trend,
which isn’t particularly new but is now
becoming a long term trend, is that we have a
portfolio of brands that tap into this need.
As consumers premiumise, experiment
and increase their knowledge of spirits, they
will continue to demand quality – another
key need which our portfolio satisfies. Once
again this year, William Grant & Sons was
named ‘Distiller of the Year’ and ‘Scotch
Whisky Producer of the Year’ at the prestigious
International Spirits Challenge awards and
our Master Distiller; Brian Kinsman was also
awarded the title ‘Master Distiller of the Year’.
To all of our customers, partners,
stakeholders and friends of William Grant &
Sons, I take this opportunity to thank you for
your ongoing support and wishing you good
health, happiness and prosperity in 2018.
We look forward to helping you build your
business again next year.
COLIN ROCHESTER, GENERAL MANAGER ANZ
WILLIAM GRANT & SONS
“We see our
business as one
which can greatly
trading partners in
own premium and
malt Scotch whisky,
premium gin and
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