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Crown Cellars push to highlight spirits portfolio with Thinking Drinkers

Published:  22 November, 2017

In response to what it describes as “massive changes” in the market, Carlsberg’s wine division Crown Cellars has teamed up with the Thinking Drinkers to bring its premium spirits portfolio to greater prominence alongside its wines with the launch of Spirits.

The most visible part of this push, Spirits is a weighty but accessible magazine format brochure, devised as a useful tool and reference point for sales team, brand ambassadors and bartenders across a range of differing style outlets.

“We’ve always presented spirits to our customers in conjunction with our wine range, but having done quite a lot of research last year with existing customers and our spirits partners, and spirits looked like a bit of a bolt on to our wine brochure,” said Katie Hewitt, category manager for spirits.

“Wine is as real driver for our business, and we wanted to make sure that we are also growing in line with the market place for spirits. The market place has changed massively over the past five years, with spirits customers have moved on, and we wanted to give a lot more focus and emphasis to our spirits range.”

The Spirits publication features a mix of accessible insights into each category, plus cocktail and drinking occasion recipes and anecdotes, with leading bartenders and the aforementioned Thinking Drinkers duo driving the editorial.

“Spirits versus wine varies massively across the trade, depending on account type, but those selling more spirits are selling spirits and craft beers hand in hand, so the idea is that we can go in and tailor the conversation, selling craft beers and spirits hand in hand, or using both our wine and spirits brochures in conjunction with each other,” said Hewitt.

She added that while gin remains a very dominant and much engaged part of the spirits category, Crown Cellars is also emphasising different, upcoming categories, including rum, tequila and American whiskey, playing on the diversity within the range.

“We are looking to encourage bars that are not massive experts with big names behind the bar to use this brochure as a key piece of information,” added Hewitt. “The Thinking Drinkers put out a totally different spin on things, giving a different approach.”

The Crown Cellars wine and spirits range comprises 1,000 lines, including 60 new spirits brought on board during 2017.