Stateways March April 2018

StateWays is the only magazine exclusively covering the control state system within the beverage alcohol industry, with annual updates from liquor control commissions and alcohol control boards and yearly fiscal reporting from control jurisdictions

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StateWays | | March/April 2018 40 TEQUILA | CATEGORY UPDATE that are then fi ltered until clear. The result is said to provide some of the rounded and creamy qualities of aged tequila with the freshness of blancos. Maestro Dobel, 1800 and Don Julio have been recently joined by versions from Moet-Hennessy's Volcan de mi Tierra, and Beam Suntory's Hornitos. The hope, according to Beth Krigel, senior brand manager of Hornitos Tequila, is that cristalino will break open the category. Introduced on the heels of the brand's marketing campaign, "A Shot Worth Taking," which debuted last Mexican Independence Day, Hornitos Cristalino is a 100 percent agave, aged at least 12 months in used American oak casks to become añejo, and then fi ltered through charcoal. Krigel says the new type of spirit creates a combination attractive both to tequila fans looking for new fl avor expe- riences and occasions, as well as novices for whom brown spirits aren't very ap- pealing (though the fl avors might be). "We are at the very beginning of cristalino in the U.S.," Krigel says. "We really see the opportunity for this product to appeal to someone looking for a more elevated tequila experience, as well as a more accessible aged tequila experience." ON DISPLAY When it comes to merchandising or promotional help from pro- ducers, most retailers say the classic large-format displays only work with those who have substantial fl oor space. Even then, with many contemporary store operators preferring a cleaner look, small is beautiful. Co-packs, too, get a mixed response. Some retailers fi nd they confuse customers with no added value for the retailer, while others see them as a holiday attraction that works best when some- thing of real value is included. "In our market, we can't mark-up for gift sets, but anything that can give customers an incentive will help. But since people are mov- ing up to quality tequila, as long as they keep they quality high they may not need to be incentivized," Agnes says. Creative marketing and merchandising efforts can drive a cat- egory. Campari America has two different efforts coming up, ac- cording to Christine Moll, category marketing director for tequila. Espolòn will be promoting its partnership with the movie Dead- pool 2, "hiring" Deadpool as creative director. From April through June, marketing includes off-premise display, on-premise promo- tion, above-the-line advertising and a limited time offer value-added-pack "designed by Deadpool." For Cabo Wabo tequila, BBQ theme displays are planned for retail, sup- ported by national digital advertising in social media. "Off-premise continues to be a criti- cal channel to reach and recruit tequila drinkers, and we see the brand thriving across all our retail partners. On the op- erational side, retailers continue to seek programming that will add value for consumers, enticing them to add more items in their basket," Moll says. For Beam, the upcoming Tequila Sea- son off-premise display program will roll out to retailers in April to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, with multiple tequila variants from Hornitos and Sauza. Also around Cinco de Mayo, Corralejo has released value added packs which includes sangrita glasses and recipes. As Dinsmore points out, regular spending pitched to the right level is important. "There are two suppliers that control a huge amount of the market, Proximo and Beam. Whether it's pricing or programming campaigns, what they do will refl ect either posi- tively or negatively. Right now they're doing a terrifi c job." Marberger says most major tequila brands provide plenty of merchandising support, but what he wants more than anything is educational material. "A steady supply of marketing POS, and things that provide an informational and educational perspective, is what we use," he adds. FOLLOWING BOURBON'S LEAD Some retailers have responded to the way tequilas followed Amer- time offer value-added-pack "designed by

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