Unmissable spirits exhibitors at TFWA World Exhibition 2018By Nicola Carruthers
This year’s Tax Free World Association World Exhibition & Conference in Cannes will see travel retail movers and shakers flock to the south of France for six days of networking events, tastings and parties.
One of the most highly anticipated events in the global travel retail and duty free calendar is the annual Tax Free World Association (TFWA) World Exhibition & Conference. This year’s event is set to welcome more than 12,000 visitors to Palais des Festival in Cannes for six days of networking, workshops, leisure activities and seminars.
Taking place from 30 September to 5 October, the total number of exhibitors for the show is expected to exceed 500 companies for the second year running – a promising indicator of industry vitality.
The trade show will kick off its social events with the Opening Cocktail party, where guests can network at the Carlton Beach from 7.30pm on Sunday 30 September, followed by an extravagant fireworks display over the bay.
After each busy day of perusing the hundreds of brands exhibiting at this year’s show, visitors will have the chance to unwind and mingle further at a host of TFWA parties throughout the week.
Held Monday to Thursday from 10pm-2am, The Scene at Plage du Palais des Festivals will see top DJs entertain guests. Delegates can also enjoy a drink and look out at sea views from the venue’s sixties-themed lounge.
Le Premium Evening at Port Canto on Thursday 4 October will host the cast of Broadway show The Illusionists, along with world-renowned French chef Romain Gandolphe, who will showcase his ‘trompe l’oeil’ cuisine. For health conscious visitors, there will also be two open-air yoga sessions, which will be held at the Plage du Festival from 9am-11.30am on Sunday 30 September.
This year will see the expansion of the exhibition’s Beach Village to include the Majestic Beach, providing the latest product developments from the LVMH Beauty Group.
Another welcome addition to the event will be the launch of the new TFWA App. Previous event-specific versions have been available in the past, but the new app will feature more refined functionality to promote interaction and networking in Cannes and beyond, as well as enhanced way-finding and access to services on site and elsewhere. The TFWA App is available on the App Store and Google Play Store.
As in previous years, the show provides a chance to discover new products, engage with brands’ latest marketing initiatives, sample current trends dominating the cocktail scene – and all while meeting acquaintances from the industry.
“The TFWA World Exhibition & Conference offers a unique opportunity for brand companies to meet with buyers and other executives from industry retailers and operators from all over the globe – all under one roof,” says Erik Juul-Mortensen, president of TFWA.
“It’s the place where new brand development is being presented and where plans for the coming listing season are discussed and agreed.
“It’s also a rare opportunity for people from all parts of the duty free and travel retail industry to come together to discuss the market challenges and opportunities for future growth.”
Taking place on the Monday, Juul-Mortensen will open proceedings with a state-of-the-industry address at the annual TFWA Conference.
He will be followed by a panel of senior retail executives, including Dufry CEO Julián Díaz González, Gebr Heinemann co-owner Claus Heinemann, Lagardère Travel Retail CEO Dag Rasmussen, and King Power International senior executive vice president Susan Whelan.
The panel will explore how the industry can adapt to a rapidly changing retail environment, address issues including digitalisation, the product offer and the business model.
In the second part of the conference, former Nato secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen and scientist Dr Bertrand Piccard will take to the stage.
TFWA will also showcase the latest technology at the Digital Village, which will return to Cannes following its successful debut last year. This year will include additional elements such as the Pitch Corner, which will allow exhibitors to present an in-depth look at the latest technological innovations.
A particular highlight will be The Spirits Business’s own Beach Party, where medallists from The Vodka Masters and The Travel Retail Masters will be recognised. This year’s sponsors include Tequila Corralejo, El Ron Prohibido, De Kuyper, Imperial Collection Gold Vodka, Champagne Pannier, and Italian Signature Wines Academy (ISWA).
Wine and spirits “remain an incredibly important category for the duty free and travel retail industry”, says Juul-Mortensen. The show will welcome a number of new spirits exhibitors, such as South Korean distiller Hite-Jinro and Scotch whisky producer The Three Stills Company. Drinks companies William Grant & Sons, Diageo and Rémy Cointreau will also return, as well as a number of smaller independent brands.
This show will be the last for Juul-Mortensen, who will step down from the association when his mandate ends in December. Juul-Mortensen is one of the founders of TFWA and has been a member of the association’s management committee since it was established in 1984.
He was first elected to the board in 1986, serving as vice president of marketing and communications for 10 years, with a further year as vice president of special projects. Juul-Mortensen has served as president since September 1999.
“I have had the honour and pleasure to head TFWA as its president for 18 years – more than half the time the association has existed – and I feel it is correct to step down and let another president take over,” says Juul-Mortensen.
“The association is in a very strong position today, with a dedicated and strong team that is well consolidated, well prepared and motivated to continue developing the association and its products and services.”
Click through the following pages to preview the range of spirits brands that will be exhibiting at the show.
Stand: M74, Green Village
It’s all about agave at Borco’s stand, as the family-owned company plans to focus on its Sierra Milenario Tequila range and Sierra Tequila ready-to-drink (RTD) Margarita, which launched in July.
Sierra Tequila Silver and Sierra Tequila Reposado will also be shown at the show. The 100% agave Sierra Antiguo Plata and Sierra Antiguo Añejo will also be introduced to guests to showcase the diversity of the firm’s Tequila portfolio.
Earlier this year, the group took over global distribution of mezcal brands Marca Negra and Meteoro (apart from the US, Canada and Mexico), and will focus on both ranges at the show.
The new Sierra Tequila Margarita RTD (4.9% abv) is made with Sierra Tequila Silver, fresh lime juice and agave syrup. The 330ml canned drink is inspired by the origins of the Margarita.
The firm’s Dr Tina Ingwersen-Matthiesen says: “The show offers us great opportunities to showcase our exceptional knowledge and expertise in producing and distributing agave-based spirits. The show supports our global approach to take steps on international grounds and to spread the vibrant Mexican lifestyle all around the world.”
Stand: G3, Blue Village
At this year’s show, Fraternity Spirits will be “reinforcing its positioning and proximity with distributors”.
The firm will be showcasing its Conde de Cub rum, El Ron Prohibido rum, Rives Gin, Tequila Corralejo and Los Arango Tequila.
Fraternity will also unveil its new Japanese blended whisky brands Kensei, Enso and Nobushi, as well as a new El Ron Prohibido Blanco.
Bottled at 40% abv, Kensei and Nobushi have been aged for three to four years in American oak barrels at Kiyokawa, Japan. Nobushi, which means ‘the spirit of honour’, is described as “fruity and full-bodied with winter spice flavours”. Kensei, meaning ‘striving for perfection’, has been created in tribute to Kensei warriors.
“The travel retail market is a perfect window to reinforce our brand positioning,” says a Fraternity spokesperson.
Ian Macleod Distillers
Stand: L7, Red Village
Scottish spirits maker Ian Macleod Distillers plans to ramp up its focus in the travel retail channel with increased investment, activations and new products.
The company will be bringing out a new global travel retail-exclusive gin from its Edinburgh Gin range at this year’s show. The brand is one of the fastest-growing super-premium gin brands in global travel retail. A new Smokehead single malt will also be showcased, along with exciting innovations in the firm’s blended Scotch portfolio, which includes King Robert II, Pig’s Nose and Sheep Dip. Langs blended Scotch whisky will be launched in the channel, with new packaging and a range of expressions.
William Ovens, global travel retail director at Ian Macleod Distillers, says: “We have grown rapidly in recent years, and supply most of the key global operators, but there are still many opportunities for us to expand our business.”
The firm has a “limited presence” in the Americas, representing an opportunity to grow in the market.
Ovens is also keen to boost the company’s presence through marketing initiatives.
Stand: G54, Yellow Village
French drinks group La Martiniquaise/Bardinet will be bringing its leading spirits brands to Cannes, including Label 5 blended Scotch, Sir Edward’s blended Scotch, Glen Moray single malt Scotch and Negrita rum, as well as Bardinet brandy, Gibson’s Gin and St Raphaël French apéritif.
A focus will be placed on a new travel retail-exclusive range for Glen Moray and a new series for St Raphaël.
The firm will be focusing on meeting its current clients as well as attracting new ones, and is looking to develop new business on other continents, such as Asia.
William Ploquin-Maurell, international brand manager – corporate communication, says: “Over the past several years, we have developed our visibility and business in travel retail. As an international mainstream wine and spirits group, we have observed an evolution concerning the travel retail industry with a development of the low-cost offers and the emergence of new consumers, such as millennials.
“This evolution will have a positive effect on our business with new offers for an emerging target.”
Stand: H3, Blue Village
Russia’s Ladoga Group will be bringing its entire spirits range to the show this year.
The portfolio includes the eye-catching Imperial Collection Fabergé Egg Vodka, which the company claims is one of the world’s most expensive vodkas.
Visitors will be able to see all eight of the Fabergé egg-style presentation cases, decorated with 24-carat gold gilding and coloured crystals. Each case contains a 750ml decanter of Imperial Collection vodka, coupled with four glasses made of Venetian glass.
Water from the largest freshwater lake in Europe is used to create the vodka, along with wheat and rye from central and southern Europe.
Imperial Collection vodka has experienced growth year on year and is currently the best-selling vodka in Russian airports.
Stand: J16, Red Village
Estonia-based Liviko Group will return to TFWA for the fifth time to present its Crafter’s London Dry Gin, Crafter’s Aromatic Flower Gin, Vana Tallinn Liqueur and Hõbe Vodka, which is silver-filtered.
Crafter’s Aromatic Flower Gin was launched at the show last year and was met with positive feedback. The naturally copper-coloured gin turns pink when mixed with tonic.
This year, Liviko will place more focus on the brand and has teamed up with nightclub The Scene in Cannes to become the venue’s official gin. This year, Crafter’s London Dry Gin secured a listing with Heinemann and the brand is now available in major European airports, including Frankfurt, Berlin, Vienna and Copenhagen. It will soon be available in Asia Pacific, and will be on shelves at Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta and Sydney airports.
The show will also see Liviko showcase a new design for Vana Tallinn Liqueur. “Every exhibition has proven to be successful for us with new contacts,” says Anna-Kai Tõrs, export marketing manager. “Travel retail is our strategic focus, so it is a must to be here and we strive to do it better every year.”
Stand: G1, Blue Village
At this year’s show, Ukraine-based Nemiroff vodka will be presenting its new Nemiroff De Luxe expression, as well as a new bottle design for Nemiroff Honey Pepper.
Nemiroff De Luxe is described as having a “full and smooth taste” followed by a “delicate and refreshing” finish.
Nemiroff Honey Pepper has notes of “natural honey combined with herbs”.
Its new bottle design aims to make the expression stand out amongst its competitors. The design is inspired by three values: “indomitable spirit, freedom and bold character”.
The TFWA show “gives so many opportunities to meet our existing partners and negotiate with new customers to broaden our sales territory”, says chief marketing officer Iryna Zhygunova.
Walsh Whiskey Distillery
Stand: H17, Blue Village
Ireland’s Walsh Whiskey Distillery will be showcasing core expressions from its Writers’ Tears and The Irishman Irish whiskey brands, along with exclusive limited edition releases.
The limited editions at TFWA will be Writers’ Tears Cask Strength 2018, The Irishman Cask Strength 2018 and the latest addition to the range, The Irishman Founder’s Reserve – Caribbean Cask Finish. The latter is a limited edition vatting of single pot still and single malt whiskeys, aged in American oak Bourbon barrels before being finished in ex-Chairman’s Reserve rum casks.
Only 12 casks of the expression have been used, with each generating 380 bottles. The liquid has been non-chill-filtered and bottled at 46% abv.
The firm will also be using the show to seek new partnerships and to meet customers and retailers.
“As we continue to build our global travel retail footprint for our brands, Writers’ Tears and The Irishman, TFWA offers us the biggest opportunity to build on our network and grow our portfolio across a hugely competitive channel,” says commercial director John Kelly.
Stand: M67, Green Village
Spain-based Zamora Company will show its full portfolio, including Licor 43, Ramón Bilbao wine, Martin Miller’s Gin, Lolea sangria, Villa Massa limoncello, Mar de Frades wine and Yellow Rose whiskey.
The group will also be shining a light on the newest addition to its flagship Licor 43 liqueur brand – Licor 43 Baristo. The expression, launched in June, contains “rare” Arabica Typica coffee grown in the Agaete Valley, in Gran Canaria, Spain. Baristo offers a flavour of freshly roasted coffee with the “botanic, citric, floral and vanilla notes of Licor 43 Original”.
There will also be an increased focus on the recently acquired Martin Miller’s Gin and Lolea sangria. Launched in 1999, Martin Miller’s Gin is distilled in pot stills in England and shipped to Iceland, where it is mixed with Icelandic spring water.
Joke Ghysens, global brand manager, Villa Massa, says the show is “the perfect place to talk about innovations, new launches, and try new products and cocktail combinations”.