Beverage Dynamics

Beverage Dynamics - March/April 2017

Beverage Dynamics is the largest national business magazine devoted exclusively to the needs of off-premise beverage alcohol retailers, from single liquor stores to big box chains, through coverage of the latest trends in wine, beer and spirits.

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Page 63 of 87

Gin Sales 64 Beverage Dynamics • March/April 2017 64 64 64 Beverage Dynamics • March/April 2017 "The roles of craft gin and micro-gin distilleries are a neces- sity as they continue to champion the varied fl avors and expe- riences that an individual can have with gin," says Batchelor of Bulldog. "You cannot say you have tried gin if you have only tried one brand, and that is the beauty of this category." CONSUMERS LEARN ABOUT GIN A hallmark of the craft movement has been the increased curiosity of consumers. They're "interested in the unexpected and willing to take risks," explains Anderman of Tanqueray. Armed with the internet, and frequently on their phones, peo- ple today love to look up and learn about whatever catches their curiosity — or intrigues their palate. And it's more than self-education. Knowledge of fi ne al- cohol has become social currency at parties and gatherings. And it's social glue for groups of friends, especially Millenni- als, who go out and explore categories together. Connoisseurship is up, which benefi ts all spirits. "Those interested in craft spirits are expanding their knowledge of various categories, including gin, and are taking initiative to further educate themselves and expand upon their knowl- edge," Anderman says. The internet is one path for consumers towards this knowledge. Another common path is through the bar. "We've found one of the best ways to run a consumer edu- cation program is with bartenders leading consumers through an interactive, hands-on approach to create their own cock- tails," says Swift of Bombay Sapphire. "Our consumers are truly epicurean and looking for ways to replicate the craft cocktails they try on-premise, at home." GIN STEALS FROM VODKA Gin has opportunity to lure consumers away from its fellow white spirit, vodka. On one hand, the vast size difference between categories makes poaching drinkers easier. Vodka represents about 33% of the distilled spirit market, while gin is only 4.6%. There's ample room for growth at the expense of vodka. Some gin producers also believe there's an advantage in the difference in fl avors — especially in the age of craft. Like a lager beer versus an ale, vodka is smoother to gin's more-pro- nounced fl avors. That could help gin "recruit vodka drink- ers by offering a more interesting and dynamic category," Anderman says. Gin may also be better tailored towards the mixology movement by fi lling "a niche in the craft spirits boom that vodka fails to do," says Sebastiani of Uncle Val's. "There's a certain depth of character and fl avor to gin that the odor- less, colorless gin doesn't have for mixologists who want to capitalize on that consumer interest." Howard of Calamity Gin sees his Texas Dry as "bridging the gap between vodka and gin. It's got the juniper and cit- rus, but it's still cool and easy drinking like a vodka," he says. "We want to be a safe landing place for vodka drinkers." BD "WE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO REWORK SOME THINGS AND PULL THE PRICING LOWER, BUT WE LIKE BEING ABOVE THE FRAY." −AUGUST SEBASTIANI, PRESIDENT OF 3 BADGE BEVERAGE CORPORATION

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