Cheers April/May 2018

Cheers is dedicated to delivering hospitality professionals the information, insights and data necessary to drive their beverage business by covering trends and innovations in operations, merchandising, service and training.

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Page 35 of 59 36 • April/May 2018 says marketing director Matt Krocheski. "We're continuing to build our footprint on-premise with our signature cocktails and Western Mule programs." Fishbowl Brands' Blue Chair Bay Rum was a Rising Star again this year, selling 139,000 cases and growing more than 70% in 2017. "There's a lot of interest right now in cream liqueurs, which was formerly dominated by one brand," says marketing director Monica Gray. "We feel we've contributed to the innovation over the last few years in a big way. To our knowledge, we have the only line of fruit-fl avored rum creams in the market, and they're doing exceptionally well." The Key Lime fl avor was recently launched with a campaign called "Key to the Keys," which engaged consumers through social media and the efforts of partner Kenny Chesney, the country music star. "The launch of Key Lime Rum Cream increased awareness and case sales of our other fl avors," Gray adds. Market Street Spirits' Brinley Gold Shipwreck rum increased sales 8% last year to 27,000 cases, taking advantage of premiumization in the rum category. "Consumers are seeking and appreciating higher-quality rums like Brinley's Shipwreck," says vice president of marketing Mike Wolff. "Consumers are fi nding their appreciation for boutique quality—especially Millennials who connect with Brinley's authentic, award-winning rums crafted with all-natural ingredients by the father-and-son team Bob and Zach Brinley." While most of the gin category is down, especially with off-premise sales, William Grant's Hendrick's was up 10.2% last year. The brand sold 355,000 cases in 2017, earning it a Fast Track Brand award. "There's been a signifi cant trend toward consumer interest in fi nding categories and brands that focus on fl avor," says Hendrick's senior brand manager Darius Hines. "With our unique fl avor profi le featuring the essence of cucumber and rose, we created the superpremium gin category and are bringing in new consumers." Many of those consumers are taking a bottle home to create simple and classic cocktail recipes that they sampled on-premise, Hines adds. FLAVORED SPIRITS AND LIQUEURS RISE Joining brandmates Jack Daniel's Country Cocktails and Jack Daniel's Tennessee Rye (a Rising Star in its debut year), Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey is an Established Growth Brand winner with 709,000 cases sold. "The biggest news for us in 2017 was our offi cial partnership with the NBA," says brand director Casey Nelson. "We deployed a wide range of assets and tools to activate at retail— truck wraps, display programs, trade incentives and consumer activations to engage friends of Jack and fans of the NBA." The brand also unveiled a global campaign called "Friendly Introduction," which shows how JD Tennessee Honey recruits new consumers to the Jack Daniel's brand. Since it launched in 2011, more than 100 other fl avored whiskeys have entered the now-crowded marketplace. Sazerac's Fireball continued its rise in 2017, growing 6.5% to nearly 4.9 million cases sold. Senior marketing director Rebecca Henry attributes the brand's success to the support and dedication of its loyal fans, leading Fireball promotions to be centered around making them happy and giving them what they ask for. A GRAND COMEBACK Now a Campari America brand, Grand Marnier has earned a Comeback award, thanks to a 5.7% growth to more than 500,000 cases in 2017. "Since the brand is 51% Cognac, we're benefi ting from a halo effect of the booming category," says vice president of marketing Melanie Batchelor. The resurgence of the classic drinks also helped. "Grand Marnier has a historic place in many well-known cocktails from the Moonwalker to the Sidecar to the Margarita," she says. "We're excited to help a new generation of bartenders discover the depth and complexity that the brand can bring to any crafted cocktail." Grand Marnier focused on the on-premise in 2017, including reconnecting with bartenders, regaining menu placements and creating bar tools for making classic cocktails. "We also worked on improving our brand education materials and cocktail materials, which are also available on social media," Batchelor adds. "We have a great opportunity to drive the message that Grand Marnier is 51% Cognac and 49% bitter orange liqueur, which is a unique base that delivers depth and fl avor complexity to any cocktail." 2018 Growth Brands Spirits 2018 Growth Brands Spirits

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