31 May, 2012

Manuel Terron and Midori

The company is currently celebrating the fact that Marie Brizard liqueurs were used in four of the five winning cocktails at last year’s IBA convention, which was staged in Warsaw. Of particular pleasure was the fact that its Essence liqueur range, which comprises cinnamon, spicy mix, tea, jasmine, rosemary and violet, took centre stage and not surprisingly this is where the focus will be for the coming year.

“We are looking to concentrate on our new Essence range which got a great welcome from bartenders,” says Lory. “We got a silver medal at the IWSC 2011, and it clearly has great potential. We are also starting to appear on some cocktail menus in high-end bars.”

Other plans for the year include the launch of three more liqueurs, Litchi, Passion Fruit and Green Melon, underlining the importance of adding new flavours. “It is key to our strategy as we have to fit constantly with trends and provide bartenders with liqueurs that will allow them to express their creativity,” says Lory.

Dutch producer Wenneker is finding pockets of growth as it expands into new markets, but the going is none too easy. “There are a limited number of premium ranges and therefore a limited number of distributors,” says the company’s export director Richard Ridley. “As a result the going is quite competitive.”

Wenneker boasts a 41-strong liqueur range and is now available in around 50 markets, with the UK and Thailand topping its export league. “Considering there are about 120 markets we should be in – we have a long way still to go – it’s daunting but still a big opportunity,” says Ridley.

Emerging markets

Key developing stamping grounds for cocktails include Kazakhstan, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia where, aided by good distributors and training programmes, Wenneker liqueurs are making good headway. “Kazakhstan is very new to the cocktail but indicators are good – consumers are wealthy enough to get involved – and bartenders, though relatively inexperienced, are keen to learn,” says Ridley. “In a presentation we held last November, we had a 100% turnout.”

Another company finding the going tough is the Italian producer Rossi d’Asiago and its Volare range of liqueurs, which feature integral bottle pourers. “It is very competitive because in recent years a lot of new producers have entered this market,” says Rossi d’Asiago’s marketing manager Anna Capuzzo.

But in something of a coup, the company recently secured a distribution contract with US importer Kobrand and, not surprisingly, is now “investing heavily in the US market”. Volare is also constantly on the look-out for opportunities to meet demands on the flavour front, “from partners around the world”.

Most recently it has joined forces with Angostura bitters which will see the development of 20 cocktail recipes made using both brands, among other ingredients, and these recipes will be published in Drinks International – which was the magazine selected as its media partner last September.

“The aim of this project is to develop a recipe collection that represents the latest trends in the world of mixology,” says Capuzzo. “One of the coolest aspects of the project will be its interactivity as each recipe will be connected, via a QR [quick response] code, to a video tutorial that shows its execution.”

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