SB Picks: Top liqueurs trends

26th October, 2012 by Becky Paskin
Marie Brizard Herbal liqueurs

Marie Brizard is focusing on creating liqueurs for trendy, nature-inspired cocktails

Flower Power: Fruit/Herbal liqueurs

By now it would seem every possible flavour on Earth has been bottled into a liqueur, and when it comes to fruit this couldn’t be truer.

But while they’ll never be brand leaders in terms of volume, a niche remains in the botanicals sphere, where herbal flavours like basil and jasmine are increasingly demanded by bartenders. Mixologists in the world’s major developed cities are continuously searching for new flavours, which is where producers such as Marie Brizard come in.

The French group is geared up to concentrate heavily on its new Essence range that was launched last year at Vinexpo and consists of flavours like cinnamon, spicy mix, tea, jasmine, violet and rosemary.

“Our Essence line is a totally new approach, putting the liquor at the heart of mixology and new, trendy cocktails based on nature,” says Aurelie Lorie, marketing director at Marie Brizard. Arturo Illan, marketing director of Licor 43, agrees with this approach.

“We believe the world always wants to try something new and can be provided for by a category which offers a wide range of flavours, textures and combinations.”

Domestic bliss?

Although it would seem that fruit liqueur innovation has had its day, the category is continuing to return positive results, growing at a rate of 3% (IWSR) in the last year.

The driving force has in fact come from the emerging markets of Eastern Europe, where many domestic brands have seen volume rocket. Polish brand Lubelska was named The Spirits Business Liqueur Brand Champion in June after an impressive 33% sales increase, fueled largely by its popular new Lemon flavour which doubled the brand’s volume to 1.5m cases in 2010.

Malandrakis poses an interesting question here: what if successful domestic liqueurs were bought by drinks giants that could roll them out globally?

“Eastern Europe has lots of fruit liqueurs that go back decades or even centuries,” he explains. “There’s a major opportunity there, considering this current interest in brand heritage.

“Jagermeister was a domestic spirit, but now it’s a huge on-trade drink. There’s a big question mark over whether someone can take fruit liqueurs with a history and make them relevant to today’s environment.”

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