Shelves full of sunshine
While the Irish summer is rarely a scorcher, we’re nevertheless keen to make the most of the warmer, sunnier days we do have, and enjoy some refreshing, weather-appropriate beverages. With that in mind, we give you the lowdown on the brands and promotions Irish distributors have in store for this key season within the industry calendar
16 May 2016
Countless outdoor sporting, music and arts festivals and events across the country this summer will provide ample opportunities for consumers to try out refreshing new drinks. As always, the manufacturers have not disappointed in this regard.
A number of sectors within the broader drinks category deserve a specific mention for recording impressive growth in recent years. First up; craft beer. Such is the extent to which this sector has developed in recent years, that the most recent edition of ‘tourism bible’, The Lonely Planet Guide for Ireland, gives a nod to Ireland’s burgeoning craft beer sector, with a new and dedicated section to craft beer.
The growth of the Irish whiskey sector is another which is impossible to ignore. Drinks Industry Ireland recently reported that according to ‘Global non-Scotch whiskies insights – market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research’, it is predicted that the 6.3 million case Irish whiskey market will increase by over 60% to 10.3 million cases between 2014 and 2019 or 8% a year to 2019. In fact, the Irish Whiskey Association states Irish whiskey is the fastest-growing spirits category in the world.
Meanwhile, the cider category in Ireland continues to lose share to other long alcohol drinks, C&C Group recently reported. Nevertheless, flavoured cider holds an 8% share of the off-trade cider market and experienced growth in the last six months of 22% versus the previous year.
*(Source: Nielsen latest 6mth Feb 2016)
Have it all!
Heineken Ireland introduces Heineken Light to Irish consumers – the only market in Europe to have this new great tasting light beer. Available now in pubs and off-licences, Heineken Light brings together everything beer fans are looking for from a light beer by putting taste firmly centre stage.
Research into the taste of Heineken Light was conducted in Ireland by independent research company TNS with over 1,000 adults. It highlighted that Heineken Light is perfect for occasions when drinkers want to be out with friends and in the moment. Owing to their busy lifestyles, they want to opt for a beer with lower calories and lower alcohol content, but do not want to compromise on taste.
Heineken Light, which has won global awards for its great taste, has been specially crafted by Heineken’s master brewers to deliver the trademark great crisp taste and flavour that fans experience from Heineken. Brewed using the same process as Heineken, with the addition of the cascade aroma hop, it delivers a floral and fruity aroma. With a slightly lower bitterness, Heineken Light has a well-balanced and smooth light finish.
The launch is driven by recent changes in consumer behaviour and lifestyle choices, and a trend towards healthier propositions and moderation in general.
Sharon Walsh, Heineken Ireland marketing director, said: “Light can mean different things to different consumers – light on taste, light in calories or lighter in ABV. What makes Heineken Light standout is that it’s a great tasting light beer that is both low in calories and slightly lower in alcohol.”
The launch will be supported by a large communications campaign and sampling activations will take place in pubs and off-licences throughout the country in the coming weeks. Heineken also invites fans to ‘share a taste’ with friends, which can be done via HeinekenLight.ie.
Heineken Light is lighter in calories and is 3% ABV. It is available on draught, 330ml bottle and 500ml can.
Desperados continues to lead the growth of the spirit-beers segment by driving innovation and further expands the category by recruiting young adults into beer through offering variety and novelty. This month the brand launches Desperados Nocturno, a new tequila flavoured beer with the extra exciting taste of blended spirits, with 5.9% ABV.
Available in a three x 33cl bottle pack in the off-trade, Nocturno will be priced in line with Desperados Original and it’s recommended to sit alongside Desperados Original on and off shelf. The launch will be supported with a new through-the line-plan campaign including disruptive and ‘absurd’ in-store displays, POS suite, sampling activity, and an epic out of home, digital and social media campaign.
Keep an eye out for Desperados Nocturno in key student and nightlife areas in Dublin and Cork. The brand states its TTL campaign will encourage its key 18-24 year old fans to ‘Enter the Night’ by choosing Nocturno to really get the party started, complemented by the hashtag, #GetAbsurd.
The way of the wolf
Leading Australian wine brand Wolf Blass, official partner to Leinster Rugby, will celebrate Leinster’s excellent Pro12 campaign by continuing availability of its popular limited edition rugby labels this spring.
Launched during the recent Rugby World Cup and continued throughout the most recent Six Nations, the specially-commissioned labels are exclusive to Wolf Blass’s famous Yellow Label Cabernet Sauvignon and Yellow Label Chardonnay wines.
Fifteen different labels are available – one for each rugby position – with each including a different number and illustration representing that player. The unique labels first appeared on Irish shelves in advance of the Rugby World Cup last September and have proved to be extremely popular with Irish consumers.
Wolf Blass Wines, established in the Barossa Valley in 1966, has grown from a humble tin shed to become one of the world’s most successful and awarded wineries, including being named International Winery of the Year at the coveted San Francisco International Wine Competition in 2015.
Wolf Blass Wines has won Australia’s most coveted trophy, the Jimmy Watson, an unprecedented four times. There is a tradition of quality, character and consistency from the refined and elite Platinum Label and the majestic and complex Black Label through to delicate Rieslings and crisp Chardonnays available in its Gold and Yellow Label ranges. Today, Wolf Blass wines are exported to more than 50 countries and are recognised internationally as icons of modern winemaking.
The special rugby labels will retail at the regular RSP of €14.99 and will available in all off-trade channels.
Wolf Blass is exclusively distributed in Ireland by Findlater Wine & Spirit Group.
True essence of the grape
The seventh annual International Sauvignon Blanc Day kicked off on Friday, 6 May in New Zealand, with the world toasting one of the best.
It’s hard to separate New Zealand and Sauvignon Blanc these days, but it was Bill and Ross Spence, founders of Matua, who first put them together back in 1969, producing the first bottles of Matua in an old tin shed which they had rented in 1974.
At Matua, the brand states it captures the true essence of the grape, and doesn’t just consider how a wine critic thinks it ought to taste.
The real New Zealand says ‘yes’, when everyone else says ‘no’. This attitude, this passion, is how they came to plant Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand before anyone else. It’s how they made wines out of things people didn’t even think would grow.
After almost four decades, Bill Spence is still involved as Matua ambassador, and its award-winning wines are crafted by local winemaker Nikolai St George. Matua has become one of the most decorated New Zealand wine brands winning hundreds of trophies and medals over the years: recently, Matua was named IWSC’s 2012 New Zealand Wine Producer of the Year and in 2013 Nikolai was named Winemaker of the Year at the Royal Easter Show.
The pioneering spirit that introduced the world to what is one of the most popular wine styles today has not diminished in the 40 years since: a fresh contemporary new look in recent years, the introduction to Ireland of its innovative Lands & Legends range, and the release later in 2015 of its Single Vineyard collection marks Matua out as one of the foremost New Zealand wine brands available on Irish shelves.
Matua is distributed in Ireland by Findlater Wine and Spirit Group.
A rosé portfolio summer promotion
Febvre is introducing a rosé portfolio for those who want to entertain with style and panache this summer. The range includes champagne, prosecco, and rosé wines from France, Spain and Chile. All the wines are readily available in off-licences nationwide and are on special promotion for May and June.
Champagne Taittinger Prestige Rosé (€59.95) has aromas of red fruit (freshly crushed wild raspberry, cherry and blackcurrant). On the palate, this is a velvety wine of fine balance and body – a subtle wine with flavours of fresh fruit. During the summer promotion, Taittinger Rosé comes with a fitted cool bag (while stocks last) which makes it an excellent accompaniment for keeping the champagne chilled when going on a picnic.
A real talking point is Valdo Rosé Brut Floral Limited Edition 2016 (€19.95). Designed by Italian fashion-craftsman of colour, Fabrizio Selavi, the 2016 Floral Edition Valdo has encapsulated the entire philosophy of the Valdo life lovers, an ode to the joy of living, to colours, to a positive world and to wine lovers who are very passionate about rosé wines. Multi-colour small branches with small roses and mother-of-pearl blades of grass envelop the Valdo Floral Rosé Brut.
Cote du Rhone St. Espirit, Delas Freres (€15) has a deep colour with plum-like hue. The nose is classical Syrah, with berry fruit, violet, liquorice and spices. On the palate, it is fully rounded with delicate tannins. Les Fumées Blanches Gris De Sauvignon, Francois Lurton, (€14), new to the Febvre range, is a blend of Sauvignon Gris and Sauvignon Blanc with the Gris accounting for the slightly pink colour. This wine has aromas of exotic fruit and grapefruit.
From the Rioja region in Spain comes Conde Valdemar Rosado (€13). This rosada has a deep, strawberry Rosé colour that is bright and lively. Thirty year old vine Grenache berries deliver delicate aromas with fresh, floral and red berry notes and the Tempranillo gives the wine high quality silkiness in the mouth, resulting in a well-balanced fruity wine with a long finish and a savoury edge.
Coming off the high seas in early May is De Martino Gallardia Cinsault Rosé (€16.50). This is the first delivery of wines from the Itata Valley in Chile to Ireland. This rosé is super-pale pink in appearance with lively red fruit aromas and a floral note to the nose. It’s a delicate fresh rosé, very dry and with good acidity.
Generating summer vibes
The biggest and most important ‘driver of choice’ for beer drinkers is all around the desire and need to meet with friends and socialise. These mixed group occasions all help celebrate great moments with friends. In fact 64% of occasions in the pub trade sit in casual get-togethers. This is cemented by the fact that beer is already the most accessible category and “having a beer” is synonymous with great connections.
Bud is the most accessible beer in the lager category. It is easy drinking and refreshing tasting – ideal for new beer drinkers in the category. Bud is a brand with broad appeal. In fact, the highest percentage of female lager drinkers (58% of females) has ever tried Bud.
Other significant statistics include the fact that one in eight lagers consumed in the on-trade is Bud and the brand had three-quarters of a million drinkers across the island of Ireland in the last four weeks.
Bud says it is going to bring summer vibes to the nation. When we think of summer in the USA, visions of iconic Californian beaches or cooling down under NYC fire hydrants are evoked – and Budweiser is bringing a little bit of that feeling to Ireland with its iconic Stars and Stripes packaging.
This summer Budweiser is launching this limited-edition packaging that features the iconic silhouette of Lady Liberty to celebrate its American heritage and inspire some summer fun. Available in a 500ml can and 300ml glass bottle, Budweiser commissioned famed city streetscape and mobile photographer 13th Witness to unveil this packaging with compelling visual content that captures Budweiser’s American home.
Euro 2016: Creating great celebrations
Research carried out for Euro 2012 showed that there were more avid fans of the Euro 2012 event than avid fans of soccer in general. Specifically, there were 1,227,000 ‘avid fans’ for the Euros versus 907,000 avid soccer fans in general. This demonstrates that the Euros is the biggest sporting opportunity for your business in 2016. With almost 1.9m Irish fans last time and games/occasions moving from 31 to 51 for Euro 2016, the expectation is that fans will be getting together in their droves to celebrate the event. In fact, football is the number one sport and passion point for the core 18-34 year old beer drinker segment, both at home and in the pub (Source: Onside Sponsorship Aug 2014).
This year sees an expansion of the Euros, now the largest ever tournament, moving from 31 to 51 games. This represents a 65% increase in potential beer shopping occasions. In total, 53% of lager occasions are ‘casual get-togethers’ and now that Ireland are through to the competition there are even more reasons to celebrate together and watch the match (Source: Apollo, June 15).
Carlsberg states that it is the brand most associated with football, with the sport being in its DNA. Carlsberg is the longest standing official partner of the UEFA Euro tournament, 24 years since 1988, and Carlsberg says it is the ‘most associated’ brand with the Euros in Ireland and football in general.
Crucially, when consumers are asked unprompted, Diageo says sponsorship of the Euros is more correctly assigned to Carlsberg versus the company’s association with the Irish team. Irish consumers value these associations. In fact, sponsorship appeals more than advertising to three in four adults (i.e. over 2.6m consumers). That’s a 21% increase in ‘likes’ for sponsorship since 2005. (Source: Onside Sponsorship Aug 2014). A crucial take-away point from this is that 1.9m people in Ireland will potentially enjoy 51 more beer drinking occasions this summer.
New premium design for cider
Stella Cidre is launching new packaging that the brand reckons will hit the spot for cider consumers. The new packs will be hitting the shelves this summer in Ireland. The latest design is premium, has better standout and more appetising due to the use of strong fruit/natural cues.
American adventure meets Irish passion
Cotton Ball Brewing Company has an interesting heritage. “You could say that the origin of our craft brewery lies over a hundred years before we brewed our first ever pint,” the brewery states.
The story starts when a young Irish emigrant Humphrey J Lynch joins and fights with the union army in the American Civil War. On Humphrey’s return to Ireland and his native city, Cork, he founded the landmark and aptly named ‘Cotton Ball’ public house in 1874. The influence from his American adventure is seen in the naming of his pub and the group reckons the same spirit made it into the founding of its craft brewery at the same Mayfield site in 2013 (a mere 141 years later!).
The pub, a lively and well-loved hostelry, was handed down from Humphrey to his son and his son’s son. As the years have passed, public taste has changed from old style beers and a drop of the hard stuff to more modern beers and big brewery offerings. As the renaissance in craft brewing took hold in Ireland, another of Humphrey’s descendants (his great grandson) decided to try his hand at artisan brewing and the Cotton Ball Brewing Company was born.
Working with locally sourced malt and an extensive range of both new and old world hops, the brewery has developed a range of exciting and high quality beers.
These include Lynch’s hand crafted Irish Stout, Mayfield 5 Pilsner Lager, Kerry Lane Pale Ale, Indian Summer Beer and Another Bloody IPA.
In 2015 the brewery was delighted to receive a gold award for its Kerry Lane Pale Ale at the Blas na hEireann awards in Dingle. These awards single out product excellence from Irish artisan producers and it was a great honour to receive this recognition.
As Cotton Ball expands its brewery and range of products in 2016, the team states that it hopes you’ll join its growing legion of discerning fans and go and try a Cotton Ball hand crafted beer.
Twist in the tale
United Wine Merchants, the distributor of Caribbean Twist throughout Ireland, has unveiled a new flavour, Raspberry Mojito, as an addition to the range. The brand states Caribbean Twist is a mouth-watering range of tropical fruit flavoured alcoholic cocktails that contains real fruit juice. It comes in a wide variety of flavours including Strawberry Daiquiri, Mixed Mango, Pina Colada, Blue Lagoon and Peach Paradise and now new Raspberry Mojito.
United Wine Merchants Brand Manager Emma Haughian said: “Caribbean Twist has experienced an increased rate-of-sale over the past few years through new listings and a consumer desire for enjoying popular cocktail flavours at home.
“Raspberry Mojito complements the other fruity flavours within the range, and strengthens the brand’s appeal within the RTD segment,” Haughian added.
Mojito is on trend and it is the most popular cocktail flavour in the UK and Ireland, with sales growing by 10.8% in the past year, so it was the natural choice to add this flavour to the portfolio for consumers who wanted fruity twists on traditional cocktails.
The new flavour is packed full of sweet and juicy raspberry flavours, with a subtle hint of lime and refreshing mint finish making it the perfect cocktail to enjoy on those long, warm summer evenings in the garden.
For the perfect serve, consumers can pour a chilled bottle of Caribbean Twist over ice and enjoy for the perfect cocktail every time. The new flavour is being backed by a campaign on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
A wine everyone can enjoy, anytime, anyplace
Yellow Tail states all the wine it makes is instantly recognisable, both for its appearance and its personality.
Yellow Tail Pinot Grigio is fresh, zesty and elegant with lots of ripe concentrated fruit. This wine has lifted aromas of citrus fruits with delicate notes of green apples and pears. The palate displays flavours of pineapple with subtle floral characters and fresh acidity.
Yellow Tail Pinot Grigio is created with a simple philosophy in mind, to make a great wine that everyone can enjoy, anytime, anyplace. With its chilled Italian roots, it makes perfect company on a warm summer’s evening.
Or if consumers are looking for an alternative way to enjoy Yellow Tail’s Pinot Grigio, they could try out the following ‘Pinot Vallarta’ recipe.
What you’ll need:
2 oz. Yellow Tail Pinot Grigio
1/2 oz. tequila
1/2 oz. orange liqueur
1 oz. fresh lime juice
3 oz. sour mix
lime wheel or strawberry
How to mix it up:
Shake all ingredients and pour into a margarita glass. Optional: rim glass with sugar. Garnish with a lime wheel or strawberry.
Blossoming into deliciousness
Since 1992, Blossom Hill has been dedicated to the enjoyment of wine. The starting point is always delivering a taste that suits the consumer. There is an ideal wine suited to every customer’s palate, which is why Blossom Hill has over 20 wines to suit all occasions –including classics such as Blossom Hill’s crisp and fruity white and soft and fruity red to fresh and fruity roses. Attractive packaging ensures standout brand on shelves.
Blossom Hill White Zinfandel is juicy and smooth. Like all of Blossom Hill’s rosés, the brand states this wine is the perfect way to start any occasion. It’s perfect to enjoy on a warm summer’s evening with a BBQ surrounded by friends.
A match made in heaven
Bulmers Forbidden Flavours are ideal for a balmy evening, served over ice, with a slice of fruit added. That perfect drink comes in a choice of four fruity flavours, Cloudy Lemon, Strawberry & Lime, Juicy Pear and Berry Berry.
Produced in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, the Forbidden Flavours range was launched in 2015 for both the off and on-trade markets in a 500ml, non-returnable bottle format. But, with over 70% of off-trade consumers preferring their drink in a can, it wasn’t long before Bulmers extended its most recent innovation into 500ml can format for the off-trade.
Ireland’s twenty-somethings are a discerning lot. They know an original when they see one and Bulmers remains a firm favourite, with Bulmers Forbidden Flavours accounting for 42% of the growth in the flavoured cider category.
Nothing says summer like Bulmers Forbidden Flavours, which will be taking centre stage at all of the country’s best festivals this year including Forbidden Fruit at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Body & Soul, Bulmers Live at Leopardstown and Metropolis at the RDS.
Fiona Collins said: “Forbidden Flavours have really made their presence in the market known with a greater sense of naturalness and heritage over competitor brands. There is a fruity sweetness to the range that has received really positive feedback as it isn’t overly sweet, which we think is crucial to its popularity and success. We anticipate a busy summer for Forbidden Flavours, which we think will be the summer hit of 2016.
Forbidden Flavours Cloudy Lemon is the first-to-market Irish cider with blends of natural lemon and citrus flavours, which give a zesty twist to the original Bulmers cider. Strawberry & Lime combines the sweet juiciness of ripe strawberries with a super-refreshing twist of tangy lime producing a cider packed with fruity notes. Berry Berry is the original apple cider infused with blackcurrants, raspberries and strawberries, packing a punch on the refreshment scale and Juicy Pear, which has been slowly fermented to maximise flavour, delivers a delicate, light and refreshing taste, which is sweet and dry on the finish.
Forbidden Flavours has a distinctive packaging design, bursting with colour for a dynamic, stand-out shelf presence. Like its big brother, Bulmers Original, it’s best served over ice, but with a slice of fruit.
An enticing portfolio
Barry & Fitzwilliam has a strong portfolio this summer. “We have an excellent portfolio of wines, spirits and beer,” says Michael Barry, MD of Barry & Fitzwilliam. “A range to satisfy all price points and are expecting a very busy summer season.”
The distributor offers an impressive choice of wines from France, Argentina, Chile and New Zealand. From Australia, Barry & Fitzwilliam distributes the McGuigan label. McGuigan wines continue to outperform the market according to a recent report, which states McGuigan is now a top wine brand in the off-trade. The Black Label range comprises of a Cabernet, Shiraz, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Rosé. The range will have strong above the line marketing support for the summer particularly on TV and radio with a major emphasis on Neil McGuigan’s award IWC awards as “the Best White Winemaker in the world” for the third time. McGuigan Frizzante was launched last summer and is an ideal celebratory drink which will be backed up with a radio campaign, ‘Like Prosecco, Love McGuigan Frizzante’.
Barry & Fitzwilliam has a very strong line up in the fortified wine sector. The company represents Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry, Croft Original Sherry, Tio Pepe Sherry and Cockburns. It is not overstating it when Michael Barry says “that they are very much the category captains of this sector” and are looking forward to a fortified summer especially now that sherry is very much back in fashion”.
What’s more, Barry & Fitzwilliam distribute as wide range of premium spirits. They include Teachers Scotch, Courvoisier Cognac, Rémy Martin Cognac, The Famous Grouse Finest Scotch Whisky, Jim Beam Bourbon, Vladivar Vodka and Whyte and Mackay Scotch, among others.
Within the gin sector, Barry & Fitzwilliam represents an unrivalled range of premium gins from across the globe. The London Number 1 which as the name suggests is indeed from London, Copperhead from Belgium, Damrak Gin from Holland, Larios from Spain and its latest addition, the iconic The Botanist from the island of Islay in Scotland. To support its range of premium gins Barry & Fitzwilliam also represents the Bottlegreen mixers collection.
Global beer bands have seen a major increase in interest. Barry & Fitzwilliam currently distributes the Wells & Young portfolio, the most popular of which is Banana Bread Beer, Waggle Dance and Bombardier and Coopers from Australia which has gained a very loyal following over the years. New additions to the range include Anarchy and Marblehead and for the summer, the company has added Jenlain French Beers to the portfolio.
Barry & Fitzwilliam is also delighted to be able to offer a fantastic range of Irish craft ciders including Toby’s Cider, Kellys Ciders, Longueville Cider and Longways Cider. The Cotton Ball Brewing Company and Killarney Brewing Co. are just a few of its range of Irish Craft Beers.
Meanwhile, the W.K.D. range will be heavily supported again this summer with a combination of promotions, a social media campaign as well as traditional media and WKD Blush has just been launched on the market which will be backed up with promotions, a radio campaign and a major social media campaign.
Perfect BBQ beer launches two new packs
Jan Kohout and Vilem Pick established their brewery in 1869 with a vision: that they could meet the growing demand for beer and brew a beer that was better than any other served at the time. They desired to craft a perfect beer using nothing but the best ingredients, and after a few attempts they produced something truly special. By using authentic Saaz hops, alongside special sorts of barley and yeast, they created a beer known today as Staropramen.
Brewed to traditional methods and original formulas today, this popular Czech beer is well known in the Irish market and is one of the best performing Eastern European beers in the off trade growing at an impressive 17% in Q1 2016 vs Q1 2015.
Staropramen’s smooth flavour, well rounded taste and delicate hoppy aroma makes it an unmissable addition to your range this summer. To build on the success of the hugely popular 500ml bottle, Molson Coors has launched two new variants – a four x 330ml pack as well as a 660ml bottle for sharing.
Staropramen’s target occasion is casual socialising with close friends and colleagues and the new sharing 660ml bottle caters to this, as well as being perfect for dining at home for two. The new 330ml four pack is ideal for summer parties and BBQs with friends. Staropramen is an excellent accompaniment with high quality food.
In a focused drive on Staropramen, Molson Coors will be activating consumer activity throughout the trade this summer, including great offers and new in store POS.
To stock up, call your Molson Coors field sales executive or your local distributor.
(Source: AC Nielsen March 2016)
*based on volume hl’s to Jan – March 2016