Maverick Drinks to launch Forward Drinking campaign

5th September, 2017 by Melita Kiely

Maverick Drinks is to launch an industry-wide campaign encouraging the on- and off-trade to rethink their approach to alcohol, called Forward Drinking.

Maverick Drinks is preparing to launch an industry-wide campaign

Set to officially launch at London Cocktail Week in October, the #ForwardDrinking campaign will aim to target industry taboos such as the notion of ‘retros’ (when brands pay for bar listings) and ‘pay-to-play’ schemes (when brands offer monetary incentives, or otherwise, to gain a retail listing – an illegal practise in the US).

Michael Vachon, head of brand development at Maverick Drinks, told The Spirits Business: “We want to be part of change we truly believe in, and that’s where Forward Drinking comes into play.

“Particularly with retros, I am not a fan; they are a little cheap and they are fleeting. We don’t want people using our product because there’s a deal attached, we want them to use it because it’s a great spirit and they’re excited by it.

“It’s not good brand building, it’s a cop-out. It’s lazy. The relationship between bars and brands is broken; it’s still fucked up – we want to help fix it. It’s about showing people there’s a better way to grow their brands.”

In addition to this, the company hopes that #ForwardDrinking will also bring together trade members working to innovate within the industry – Vachon notes the recent opening of Crucible by bar consultant Stu Bale as a prime example of his vision.

Plus, rather than being a Maverick Drinks-owned campaign, Vachon hopes the industry will adopt the hashtag #ForwardDrinking and collectively come together to help all aspects, from producers and distributors, to on-trade and off-trade premises, to join forces and “encourage progress”.

The #ForwardDrinking website will offer a selection of tools for free once it is up and running, including a cocktail costing calculator.

“I really would love if even big brands got behind this and said: ‘We want to promote progress.’ That’s what our aim is at the end of the day, it’s all about progress,” stressed Vachon.

“It can be from small changes, such as encouraging companies to move away from straws and endeavour to become zero-waste.

“There needs to be more awareness of progress in the industry, more communication and more support to make it happen – it’s exciting and I hope we’ll see a lot of companies come on board.”

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