SB Picks: Top liqueurs trends

26th October, 2012 by Becky Paskin
Drambuie traditional liqueur

Drambuie, a traditional liqueur, is reinventing itself for the modern consumer

A lost generation: Traditional liqueurs

The after-dinner tradition of supping on a liqueur and a cigar is long dead. Those brands established in the long-forgotten culture of being wheeled out on a dusty tray have found that, to survive, they’ve had to regenerate.

Packaging is the obvious starting point. Tia Maria recently unveiled its shiny new bottle at the Lovebox festival in London, which according to the brand is “more eye-catching and communicates our 18th century heritage”.

The liqueur relaunched in the UK, Argentina, the Netherlands and Canada with a selection of new serves to target a younger audience. But while Tia Maria sees focusing on its brand heritage as a route forward, 119-year-old whisky liqueur brand Drambuie has decided to leave its history out of its new communication.

Generation X

“We’re incredibly proud of our history, but one of our biggest challenges is helping new drinkers understand what Drambuie is, so we’re not really playing to it right now,” says Drambuie marketing director Miranda Rennie, who admits the brand is fighting to gain new interest from consumers.

“We still have an audience that drank Drambuie in the ’80s and ’90s, but if I’m brutally honest it’s not about retaining interest, it’s about gaining interest. We have to be honest about what we’re facing here. We’ve missed a generation who don’t know what Drambuie is, so we need to work hard to engage, innovate and show them how to drink it.”

Drambuie hopes to turn its flat growth rate around with the launch of its surrealist Taste of the Extraordinary campaign, and work in its new markets of Latin America, India and the Far East.

Innovation and regeneration are not new concepts for liqueurs brands with a long history – Grand Marnier has been releasing extensions for years while maintaining a firmly wedged place on the back bar, and Cointreau equally has remained current through new drink serves and collaborations with cultural icons like burlesque star Dita von Teese.

But, as the category becomes even more saturated, especially with the recent influx of whisky and Tequila liqueurs, traditional brands face a continuous challenge ahead to attract today’s consumer.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to our newsletter