Wine belongs to the so-called elite consumer, and has
become a beverage category ingrained in the consumer’s psyche as
refined. Wine represents premium and a category in which consumers are
willing to trade up, report industry sources.
But wine isn’t the only category figuring out how
to up-sell its image. Many newer restaurants have expanded beer lists with
descriptions such as “a complex flavor featuring dark chocolate, sour cherry and a hint of oak.” Is
that a beer or wine?
Many restaurants also are offering beer tastings and
pairings, even beer and dessert pairings, that consumers are flocking to
because of either their preference for beer or because a beer tasting
offers a break from the norm.
One establishment where beer business is booming, Mrs.
Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro in Chicago, offers a 50-plus beer list with
beers from Ireland, Britain, Belgium and various American microbreweries,
including brands such as Old Engine Oil, SkullSplitter and Delirium
Tremens. When the new restaurant opened last October, beer accounted for 30
percent of its alcohol sales and today it is closer to 50 percent, the
Irish bistro reports in a Crain’s Chicago
Business article. Obscure beers favor
well, but middle-of-the-road brews do not. The restaurant opened with one
readily available craft brew on tap, but soon replaced it with Goose
Island’s Matilda, because of its comparatively odd flavor notes.
With most beers costing less than a glass of wine and
the reserved-for-upper-echelon stigma not applying, beer still offers a
sophisticated flavor profile and interesting brands that appeal to refined
consumers to drink on-premise or to give as a gift. Whether it is because
of taste or image, the beer category has the chance to differentiate itself
this way. Through ingredients, flavor profiles, branding, marketing and
packaging every beer is extremely intricate, and
brewers and retailers should make sure consumers know as much.Cheer-ing inthe Carolinas
Cheerwine has launched a
“Random Acts of Sampling” tour through the Carolinas this
summer. Carolina Beverage Corp. calls the tour an “un-marketing
campaign,” in which two teams of Cheerwine recruits will hand out
chilled free samples throughout the Carolinas without an official schedule
or planned events. Armed with coolers, cases of product, a map, a laptop
and mobile phones the teams will follow regional itineraries to distribute
Cheerwine throughout the summer. The team’s daily activities —
and next destination — can be tracked at cheerwine.com.
Malibu’s serious summer
Malibu rum is encouraging consumers to have a
Seriously Easy Going Summer. The program includes a summer ad campaign as
well as tasting events for its Malibu Coconut, Pineapple, Mango and Passion
Fruit flavored rums. The brand also will run a “Taste the Island
Life” consumer sweepstakes to win a trip to Barbados, the home of
Malibu rum, which is imported by Pernod Ricard USA.
The official spirit of racing, Jim Beam, awarded one
lucky winner and friends an opportunity not even offered to racecar
drivers. Winner Philip Keeney of Mechanicsburg, Pa., and three guests
attended both the Indy 500 in Indianapolis and the NASCAR Nextel Cup Race
in Charlotte, N.C., on the same day. In order to attend both races, the
party took a helicopter and two private jets to the tracks where they
enjoyed V.I.P. status and met drivers.“Late
Show’s” New Leaf
No Top 10 list here. “The Late Show with David
Letterman” chose just one beverage for its official summer drink: New
Leaf iced teas. Each summer a different beverage is chosen and the
cane-juice- sweetened, flavored teas received the honors this year.
Finlandia says hola
Together with Cosmopolitan
en Español, Finlandia launched its new
vodka flavors at a party in Los Angeles. Celebrity guests included actor
Nick Gonzalez and reality show star Jo De Le Rosa, who joined in the
Vegas-style celebration where reggaeton artist R. Luna performed. Gonzalez
hosted the event and mastered the poker tables where Finlandia’s
newest flavors such as Wild Berries, Mango, Lime and Cranberry vodkas were
Guinness at home
Guinness has challenged consumers to design their
Ultimate Guinness Home Bar for a chance to win one themselves. Through the
end of July, fans can design a blueprint for a home bar on Guinness’
Web site. The winner will receive the Ultimate Guinness Home Bar with a
three-keg cooling unit for serving Guinness Stout, Smithwick’s Ale
and Harp Lager on draught, and accessories. Former NBA player and current
sports analyst Bill Walton will judge entries to name a winner.
EFFEN cool car
Effen Vodka sponsored an Indy car at this year’s
Indianapolis 500. The car’s graphics carry the monochromatic paint
and graphics treatment that is on Effen vodka bottles. The car is part of
the Kent Baker/Greg Beck team and was driven by Stephan Gregoire.
Beverage Industry’s November issue highlights the 100-year advocacy of the American Beverage Association and what’s next for CEO Katherine Lugar and a new plastics initiative, Every Bottle Back. This issue includes a special report on craft beer, an Up Close With feature on PRESS hard cider and what is sparking innovation in natural colors. Read more about how protein is powering up beverages and how warehouses are using WMS and WCS systems to streamline operations. As usual, the latest trends in new products, packaging and ingredients are highlighted.
Check back throughout the month for additional content.