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Top spirits at TFWA World Exhibition 2015

The 31st TFWA World Exhibition & Conference – travel retail’s biggest trade event – is upon us and this year it’s bigger than ever. Here are some of the spirits exhibitors touching down in Cannes.

One of the spirits industry's most hotly anticipated events, the TFWA Exhibition & Conference, will be returning to Cannes next week
One of the spirits industry’s most hotly anticipated events, the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference, will be returning to Cannes next week

The whole world is about to decamp to Cannes – at least that’s what it feels like when the tax free crowd comes to town. From the 6,700 delegates streaming into the Palais des Festivals to the 3,000 products showcased across 470 stands, the city on the French Riviera will be truly transformed from 18-23 October

In addition to the 10 “villages” of exhibition space spread throughout the Palais, a packed conference schedule accompanies the back-to-back business meetings. The Opening Conference on Monday morning will see former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani (pictured right) and Peter Long, joint CEO of TUI Group, address delegates alongside TFWA president Erik Juul-Mortensen, who will give his annual state of the industry speech.

Then, on Tuesday morning, South Korea takes centre stage at the 8am Market Watch workshop, before the Inflight Focus session is held the following morning.

Wednesday evening sees the unveiling of a new TFWA fixture: the first ever TFWA Research Workshop. Peter Mohn, owner and CEO, m1nd-set, and Alison Hughes, research director at Counter Intelligence Retail, will present highlights of the trade association’s most recent studies: the TFWA Airport Series and TFWA Category Reports. But back to the exhibition floor, because with around 100 wine and spirits suppliers present, Cannes week is set to be especially hectic for those in the travel retail drinks trade. Read on for an advance look at some of the most exciting launches seeking to enter the global channel.

And, for those in need of a cocktail after a hard day at the show, don’t forget The Spirits Business will again host our Global Travel Retail and Global Vodka Masters Beach Party by the sea outside the Carlton Hotel. All are welcome, just email to RSVP – we’ll see you there!

Click through the following pages to discover our selection of top 10 spirits heading to Cannes for the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference next week

Angus Dundee Distillers

Angus-Dundee-DistillersGreen Village, L55

Single malt whisky is the name of the game for Angus Dundee Distillers this year, with expressions aplenty from the company’s Tomintoul and Glencadam distilleries. Tomintoul Aged 25 Years is aimed at travel retail, while Tomintoul Five Decades is described as a “unique, one-off edition” to celebrate the distillery’s 50th anniversary.

“We are also launching Hamiltons Lowland Single Grain Scotch Whisky and Strathcolm Single Grain Scotch Whisky in three expressions: un-aged; 8-years-old and 12-years-old,” explained international marketing director, Duncan Baldwin. In terms of market challenges, Baldwin points to the increasing demand for travel retail exclusive products.

“Historically we have not done this but because price comparisons between products available in the domestic markets as well as travel retail can produce conflicts, it makes sense to simplify matters by offering exclusive products for [the channel]. We plan to develop exclusive travel tetail products in the future.”


BottegaBlue Village, A11

Italian wine and spirits producer Bottega has been exhibiting at the TFWA for more than 25 years now, and, while well known for its prosecco products, the company has a focus on a new grappa-based creamy liqueur, Bottega Caramel. “Smooth and sweet, it has seductive and evocative aromas and flavour of caramel,” explained Sandro Bottega, Bottega’s managing director.

Bottega Limoncino, the company’s version of the popular lemon-infused liqueur, is also set to be showcased. Reported to be the only product of its type on the market to include a percentage of grappa, the spirit currently enjoys distribution in 70 countries spread across five continents.

“It is sold in the most important duty free and travel retail shops worldwide, and it is one of the most popular Italian alcoholic products present on board many prestigious airlines in the in-flight sales channel,” Bottega continued. “It meets the taste of a wide range of consumers. For the first time since [launching in] 1996, Limoncino Bottega has broken through the wall of a million bottles per year.”

Brown-Forman Global Travel Retail

Brown-FormanGreen Village, M70

With a concentrated emphasis on its Bourbon and Tennessee whiskey portfolio, Brown-Forman Global Travel Retail is planning on shouting about its long history in American whiskey during this year’s event.

A major highlight will be the formal travel retail launch of Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Century, a bottling celebrating the centennial of the US icon. “When you have a portfolio that has both the world’s top-selling whiskey, Jack Daniel’s, and America’s first bottled Bourbon, Old Forester, you proudly make that the emphasis at a global meeting such as TFWA,” said Marshall Farrer, Brown Forman MD for global travel.

“Add in the authentic craftsmanship and impressive performance of Woodford Reserve and the centennial salute to Frank Sinatra with the launch of Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Century and you have an unmatched whiskey presence.”

According to Farrer, Woodford Reserve is “simply exploding” within global travel retail, with the original Distillers Select and Double Oaked particularly noted.


CamusBlue Village, F11

Fifteen years ago, Camus released EXTRA Elegance, described as an “ambitious” Cognac presented in a contemporary bottle and pack. For this year, Camus is taking the expression a step further with the introduction of a “Dark and Intense” expression.

“First of all, we made a selection of the most appropriate eaux-de-vie,” explained Patrick Léger, cellar master of the House of Camus. “Then we decanted them from the 340l casks in which they had been ageing, so that the casks could be reopened in order to regenerate their full aromatic potential, by carefully toasting them over the naked flames at a controlled temperature. This delicate operation is performed by hand, barrel by barrel, relying on the master cooper’s expertise to determine the length of time and extent of toasting needed to obtain the best harmony between the Cognac and the oak.

“The casks are then refilled with the same Cognac and the blend will slowly begin to intensify its spicy aromas.” Given tasting notes include crème brûlée, gingerbread, roasted macadamia and dark chocolate. The Camus EXTRA Elegance carries a duty-free RRP of US$480 for a 70cl bottle.

Chabot Armagnac

ChabotRiviera Village, RF15

TFWA World Exhibition is Chabot Armagnac’s major platform to communicate with international customers, says Daniel Hui, marketing executive at MG Cellars Limited, the brand’s Hong Kong-based partner. And a key product focus this year is Chabot Prestige N°8.

“It is a distinct blend of eight exceptional vintages,” Hui continues. “[They] are individually different yet remarkably complementary.” Tastings and product presentations will take place on-stand. “Armagnac is more famous and in demand in the market. Global consumers are willing to try [a] different level of Armagnac products. It is time to expose and present Armagnac.”

In terms of market challenges, Hui identifies the unstable economic environment, coupled with the need for sales promotions, as the biggest trials for the channel. “For long term development, Chabot [will] strengthen the communication and relationship with customers. Retaining premium quality with competitive price is our strategy.”


DistellGreen Village, M64

The 2015 Cannes event will be a good opportunity for Distell to introduce its expanded travel retail team, led by travel retail MD Richard Trimby, says Robyn Bradshaw, Distell’s duty free general manager.

“Although we are a niche player in the single malt category, we have access to some exceptional and rare stocks that allow us to develop exciting offerings for connoisseurs. We are bringing two travel retail exclusives from single malt specialist, Bunnahabhain, famous for its least-peated Islay malts. We are also introducing two special aged single malts from Tobermory and an organic single malt from Deanston,” Bradshaw explains. “These products are scheduled for release very soon, so we’ll be bringing samples to the show to give buyers a glimpse of what is to come.”

The Bisquit Cognac range will also be on-stand, with a special focus on the exclusive XO Year of the Monkey edition, developed to coincide with 2016 as the Year of the Monkey, plus a second luxury presentation – the Bisquit XO gift pack. Amarula, the company’s marula-based liqueur, is now the 32nd most popular spirit in travel retail, according to IWSR data.

Fraternity Spirits

Fraternity-SpiritsBlue Village, E1

TFWA World Exhibition is a key date in the calendar for Raffaele Berardi, Fraternity Spirits CEO. “Being able to launch our new products at the biggest exhibition in the travel retail year is hugely important,” he says. “The event welcomes key industry figures from all around the world, and it’s a vital way of us getting our products in front of these individuals to be able to expand our global distribution.”

A major focus this year is the new special edition Tequila Corralejo Gift Box, which celebrates the 20th anniversary of the company’s hero product. The pack features illustrations of the Hacienda Corralejo and details its origins. “With eye-catching colors and a promotional campaign that aims to appeal to consumers of tequila, the special edition box is the ultimate gift for any Tequila lover,” Berardi enthuses.

Chocolate liqueur Horus, which was successfully launched at TFWA Asia Pacific this year, will also be on-stand. “Aware of the need to offer products that are outside of the ‘normal’ spirits realm we introduced Horus Liquor of Chocolate, which is a rich and creamy chocolate liqueur presented in a 750ml gold bottle complete with 999/9 gold stand symbol. The liqueur is proving successful in both domestic and travel retail markets.” Delegates are welcome to visit the Fraternity Spirits stand to sample the new releases.

Grand Marnier

Grand-MarnierBay Village, Bay 8

Grand Marnier will use TFWA WE to unveil its new gift pack for Cuvée Louis-Alexandre, a distinctive blend of aged Cognacs and aromatic orange essence. The special cuvée was developed as a tribute to Grand Marnier’s creator, Louis-Alexandre Marnier Lapostolle, who “disrupted the status quo” of Cognac production by blending premium cognacs with oranges from the Caribbean.

Taking inspiration from the Art Deco style, the pack is a tribute to the “Roaring Twenties”. At this time, Grand Marnier’s business was being driven by Marnier Lapostolle’s cocktail flair. Described as an “affordable trade-up” from Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge, the new pack targets Grand Marnier fans. It is “bold, intense and complex”, says the brand, which also hopes to please a wider Cognac audience with the release.

The new Cuvée Louis-Alexandre pack will appear on-shelf in TR from early 2016 at US$60, the same RRP as the standard pack. The presentation includes two “retro-chic” glasses and a selection of cocktail recipes reminiscent of the 1920s.

Illva Saronno

IllvaRed Village J1

In recent years Illva Saronno has placed increased emphasis on travel retail, with its Disaronno and Tia Maria brands given particular focus. The company made its Cannes debut in 2014 and is “very pleased” to return again this year. “The show provides us with an excellent opportunity to present our brands to the global travel retail industry and has proved a perfect backdrop against which to launch Disaronno Riserva last year and this year to show the latest Disaronno limited edition with Roberto Cavalli,” says Sara Amadei, PR manager, Disaronno.

Mimicking Roberto Cavalli’s famous style, the Disaronno bottle has been dressed in a bold, vibrant and colourful design inspired by the Robert Cavalli SS 2015 Pre Collection. Listed in key hubs across the Americas, Europe and the Gulf, the limited edition, animal print-clad bottle will be supported by high visibility merchandising, and exciting in store activations, and carries an RRP of US$26.

Augusto Reina, Illva Saronno CEO, said: “We are delighted to announce our partnership with Roberto Cavalli for our third Disaronno limited edition. “To include Cavalli in the list of our collaborations is a real honour and a truly special moment in the history of our brand.”

Jose Cuervo

Diageo-Jose-Cuervo-lossBay Village, Bay 16

A long-time TFWA World Exhibition exhibitor, 2015 marks a new era for Jose Cuervo as it attends the show this year under its new name: Jose Cuervo Global Travel Retail. A key priority for this edition of the show is the company’s premium portfolio, including Jose Cuervo Tequila, the “exciting and high growth” Kraken Rum, and recent acquisition, Bushmills Irish Whiskey.

“We have exciting news about our Limited Edition Rolling Stones Jose Cuervo Silver, launched in the US recently to celebrate the role of Cuervo Tequila on the Rolling Stones famous tour of the US in 1972,” says David Phelan, director. The product is set to launch in selected TR markets from November 2015. “We will also introduce to our travel retail customers an exciting limited edition Kraken Ceramic bottle.”

For Bushmills, the company is introducing “several gift packaging initiatives”, continues Phelan, adding that he is “really delighted” to be exhibiting the brand. “The quality and innovation around brand engagement, providing airport travellers with really interesting and fun shopping experiences in travel retail has significantly upgraded and is delivering results for all key stakeholders,” he continues. “Our brands are represented in fast growth categories so there is much opportunity for us now to focus and develop strong long term partnerships with our travel retail operator partners.”

La Martiniquaise – Bardinet

BardinetYellow Village G54

French drinks group Bardinet will exhibit a recent Glen Moray expression with a smoky twist at the TFWA World Exhibition. Glen Moray Elgin Classic Peated Single Malt, described as the “ideal introduction to peated single malts”, is the latest Scotch in the Glen Moray Classic Collection. The peat contributes a rich, earthy quality, and combines with the characteristic sweet vanilla and light oak notes for a “new taste sensation”.

“We are confident that this new expression will attract a large audience amongst new and loyal Glen Moray drinkers,” said Raphaele Delerue, brand manager. The other malts in the Classic Collection are Glen Moray Elgin Classic and Glen Moray Port Cask Finish, each said to offer a “fantastic insight into the world of single malt whiskies”.

The Glen Moray distillery is situated in the West End of Elgin and is the most northerly of the Speyside distilleries. Despite its location, it enjoys a warm and sunny microclimate thanks to the Laich O’Moray coastal plain. This means that the maturing whisky can develop a smooth, well-rounded taste profile.

Marie Brizard

Marie-BrizardYellow Village, E32

Following a complete restructuring of the business in 2014, Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits is embarking on an exciting new strategy, Kevin Baker, global travel retail director tells The Spirits Business. “We are taking this opportunity to share that with our partners and potential partners.”

Cognac Gautier will be a major focus, as well as SHOTKA – a “remarkably bold new concept” developed by Marie Brizard’s team in Lithuania. The company is hosting a party on the Wednesday evening where guests will be able to sample SHOTKA alongside the wider Cognac portfolio, plus Sobieski Estate Vodka, Marie Brizard Anisette Liqueur, and Marie Brizard Chocolat Royale Liqueurs.

The wider aim, Baker continues, is to challenge the focus which many retailers have on brands from the major suppliers. “We would like them to know that Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits has some very interesting brands and plans, and we will be as tenacious as necessary to help them realise those opportunities.”

Pernod Ricard

Pernod-RicardBay Village, Bay 4

For Cristina Carmueja, customer marketing controller, Pernod Ricard Travel Retail Europe, TFWA World Exhibition is the only truly global event that relates to the channel and is the most important of the year for the company. “It’s also a time to meet face-to-face with the ‘who’s who’ in duty free and the travel retail industry,” she said.

On stand, delegates will see in-store activation concepts and visuals set for use on a global scale. Of particular note this year is the Chivas Globetrotter partnership, linking to luxury luggage and the ongoing “Made for Gentlemen” campaign, Absolut’s annual end of year activation which aims to bring high energy to store shelves, Jameson Caskmates, any many others.

“A key area to build on is the growth of brand experiences that engage and inspire the shopper,” said Carmueja. “Building our brands via shopping experiences and delivering them in all formats, including the use of technology to attract and build on the consumer experience, has been of key importance to the group and will continue to be so.” Increasing customer consolidation is changing the industry landscape, she noted, including Dufry’s acquisition of Nuance and World Duty Free Group, and Heinemann’s takeover of SAR.

Stoli Group

StolichnayaBlue Village, D3

Being in Cannes every year is an important element of Stoli Group’s commitment to the travel retail business, says Jean-Philippe Aucher, global duty free and travel retail director. “As well as being an incredibly vital exhibition, it also provides us with superb networking opportunities throughout the week.”

At this year’s event, Stoli will be unveiling the completely new look bottle for Stolichnaya Premium Vodka. Cannes has been chosen as the platform for the global reveal indicating the importance of travel retail to the brand. In terms of TR trends, “premiumisation, exclusivities and limited editions continue to be the key pillars of the travel retail industry and is still the most relevant general trend within the spirits category,” Aucher continues.

“Travellers continue to look for something they cannot buy in the domestic market, and generally are willing to spend more money on a product in travel retail then they would on a similar product in domestic, due to the exclusivity element.”

Underberg Group

UnderbergRed Village, K19

Germany-based Underberg is heading to Cannes with a number of product focuses in tow. The eponymous Underberg natural herbal digestive will be on display in a five 20ml bottle, portion-sized travel pack. Hubert Underberg, the founder of the company, launched his unique product in 1846. It was his grandson, Emil Underberg, who initially came up with the 20ml format idea. Today, Underberg says the pack is practical and convenient, and suitable as an impulse or incremental purchase item in the duty free store.

For 2016, the Underberg Gift Tin touches down in Rio de Janeiro. First introduced in 2005, the Gift Tin Collection conveys the message of “culinary trips around the world”. For next year, Underberg will mark the Olympic Games, with detailed panoramic artwork celebrating the city.

Sticking with Brazil, and PITÚ do Brasil will be a major Underberg focus for 2016. As a Brazilian brand, Underberg says PITÚ is set to become really popular next year. All you need for the signature serve is one lime, 2-3 teaspoons of cane sugar, a glass full of crushed ice and 50ml PITÚ – the resulting PITÚrinha, is described as a premium Caipirinha with Pitu.

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