Beefeater 24 targets ‘cocktail culture’

Spirits consumers are trading up: the launch of the new premium spirit from Corby Distilleries is promoted through branded parties, a print and OOH buy.

Sales of ordinary gin seem to be declining, but consumers are developing a taste for the more expensive stuff, says Dominic Kreutzner, brand manager, Corby Distilleries Ltd., which this month introduced Beefeater 24, a premium spirit, to the Canadian market.

‘Super premium gin in Canada is growing at 5.6% while regular premium gin is on what looks to be a decline,’ Kreutzner says. ‘What we’re finding is that consumers are drinking less, but better.’

To support the launch, Beefeater 24 last week threw a party called Tea Salon, attended by about 400 of Toronto’s trendy urbanites and media professionals. The party included a fire act, ballet performers and a woman wearing a red carpet as a dress – the aim, explains Kreutzner, was to raise brand awareness and recruit a young consumer aged 25 to 40.

‘We’re really focusing on Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, where there is a bit of a cocktail culture emerging,’ he says. Other media promoting the launch arranged by Carat includes OOH billboards, radio and ads in the Toronto Star and Metro daily newspapers.

But engaging bartenders and customers on-premise while establishing credibility is still a priority for a new product, he explains. This is why they’re extending the Tea Salon parties to Vancouver and Montreal later this year. Such events will also help Beefeater 24 stand out from other premium gins that have recently entered the market, including Victoria Gin, Tanqueray No. 10 and Hendricks, which Kreutzner considers key competitors in this market.

‘We measure our success by the growth of volume in the LCBO,’ says Kreutzner. And while it’s too early to release sales figures, he says the Ontario store has ordered more of the drink from the U.K., where the gin is distilled after a 24-hour steeping process, hence the name.