Posted on | September 6, 2012
Written by | BevNetwork
|INTRODUCING DZAMA: MADAGASCAR’S BEST RUM STEPS OUT
To Americans kids, Madagascar is a land of animated animals; to many adults, it’s a prime source of vanilla and spices. In reality, of course, it is much more, and America is now getting a taste of Madagascar’s world-class Dzama Rum. Produced on the small island of Nosy-Be, off the northwest coast, Dzama benefits from the flora-rich microclimate’s unique terroir; barrel elaborations add even more character. With SRPs from $22-$50, the entire line is upscale, but overdelivers. Of special note: the 80 proof Dzama Vanilla (SRP $35) has a whole bean in every bottle, which leads the lush amber rum to evolve over time. Now in eight states plus DC.
|FRANGELICO SAYS SEPTEMBER IS FOR (HAZEL)NUTS
Emulating other foodstuffs that have gotten holidayish treatment, Frangelico is declaring September “National Hazelnut Month.” The iconic liqueur is enticing mixologists—and chefs—to get (hazel)nutty. In NYC, Geoffrey Zakarian’s restaurant, The National, created a whole hazelnut-themed menu, as well as several Frangelico cocktails; the Fall Basket, pictured, also includes apple vodka, cranberry juice, simple syrup and a brown sugar rim.
|MONTELOBOS: MEZCAL GOES GREEN
It’s no shock that the American-soil debut of the world’s first organic mezcal would be at Tales of the Cocktail. After wowing the mixology crowd in New Orleans, expect to see more of Montelobos, the latest spirit from the Lopez family, mezcal-makers for five generations, in collaboration with Mexican spirits expert Ivín Saldaña (who also had a hand in Milagro Tequila). Imported by William Grant; currently in NY, TX and CA.
|INDULGENCE IS IN SMIRNOFF’S CONFECTION SHOP
Americans’ love of dessert has extended to the cocktail glass: the confectionary vodka segment grew 400% last year. While this flavor subset is relatively new and a small percentage of the vodka category as a whole, it seems to be generating the greatest buzz. Confectionary vodka flavors are the #1 growth-driver responsible for 54% of premium flavored vodka sales off-premise; furthermore, 66% of shoppers plan to buy confections in addition to the flavored vodka they already purchase.
Category leader Smirnoff has four offerings—Kissed Caramel, Whipped Cream, Fluffed Marshmallow and Iced Cake—leading growth within the segment. Smirnoff Fluffed Marshmallow and Whipped Cream have already grabbed the #3 and #5 Innovation Vodka brands (IRI Total Food data).
Supported by a 360-degree local activation plan that includes digital outreach, consumer media, events, sampling, limited-time offer packs, in-store displays and local market ambassadors, Smirnoff’s confectionery flavors benefit from a total $12.5 million in dedicated advertising (not to mention Smirnoff’s 1.2 million Facebook fans).
As with anything new, sampling and cocktail creation are key to encouraging trial and trade-up. Diageo asserts that research shows “vodka is the largest and most important category in spirits, bringing in the most loyal and valuable shoppers” and that flavored vodka buyers have a higher basket ring than regular vodka buyers.