Crown Cellars has announced the launch of Spirits, a new customer focused magazine designed to help operators make the most of spirits in the on-trade.
The insights have enabled Crown Cellars to offer a more tailored approach to spirits, modelled on the success of similar Carlsberg UK offerings, such as the award-winning Crafted Handbook and Tapster’s Cask Ale Guide.
The new magazine, which includes over 60 new products this year, features an overview of the current spirits market, leading with insight and opinions on the latest trends alongside interviews with pioneers of the bartending community, including brand ambassadors, and industry figure heads. Drinks experts, The Thinking Drinkers also worked with Crown Cellars to identify and deliver editorial content tailored to on-trade venues with a spirits focus - Crown Cellars customers and non-customers alike.
Tom Sandham, Thinking Drinkers Founder commented: “Working with Crown Cellars has been really refreshing and a pleasure. They spoke to us about what they were hoping to achieve with Spirits and we knew straight away that we wanted to be involved editorially. We’re like-minded, in that we work hard to gain a true understanding of what people want to read, and then do our upmost to deliver on this.
He continued, outlining key themes identified in interviews:
Range: “It is no longer enough to stock a house or premium option for each spirit. Each category must be approached in a unique way to accomplish a good range to meet multiple touch points, including taste profiles and price points.”
Story Telling: “Bartenders like telling stories as much as consumers like hearing them. Talking about a brand’s heritage, the way it’s made, or even sharing an interesting fact or two makes all the difference and inspires consumer choices.”
Tasting: “It’s so important that the bar managers try every single product they’re ordering in. Before selecting brands from categories – even the ones that aren’t as fashionable as gin – a tasting is essential as consumers are looking for quality. Remember that every spirit has its purpose.”
Flavour: “It’s a fundamental consideration that is sometimes not given as much thought as it should. Consumers want to know how it tastes! We’ve included flavour maps for the key categories in the guide to help bartenders describe the taste without sounding like they’re reeling off rehearsed tasting notes.”
Crown Cellars also revealed its category themes including ‘Category Reappraisal’ whereby vodka, blended whisky and tequila were all identified as key spirits choices, with evolving reputations in the consumer mind-set. ‘Noise and News’ refers to categories such as gin and US whiskey, both of which continue to capture consumer interest and expand consumer repertoires. Rum was also identified as the ‘Next Big Thing’, as it continues to win fans on both sides of the bar with its diversity and versatility across cocktail and mixed drinks menus.
Katie Hewitt, Spirits Category Manager at Crown Cellars commented: ‘We’re passionate about genuinely delivering what our customers want and we can only do this when we truly understand both our customers and the category. We have over 25 years’ experience in spirits and great relationships with our customers that allow us to dig deep and get the most out of our research and insight. This means that we can continually evolve our range, the support we offer and the way we communicate with our customers.
“Having the support of the Thinking Drinkers has been a fantastic experience; their industry knowledge and perspective in the editorial contribution has really delivered inspiring content that the on-trade community have told us they actually want to read.”
Paul Waller, Director of Third Party Brands at Carlsberg UK added: “Customers are at the heart of everything we do at Crown Cellars. We’re proud to build our offering on insight directly from the industry and the bar owning and tending community. We’re committed to delivering the best range, service and support – and communicating it to our customers in the way that inspires them.”