Top spirits stands at TFWA 2023
With lockdowns around the globe being a thing of the past, this year’s Tax Free World Association event in Cannes is set to welcome the world.
There are still a couple of challenges facing us, particularly around stock issues, and getting the right product to the right place, as well as recruiting and retaining good staff,” notes a spokesperson for the Tax Free World Association (TFWA) about the global travel retail (GTR) channel. “However, we have undoubtedly seen a good recovery in wines and spirits sales in duty free this year.”
It’s a stark contrast to a couple of years ago, when the industry was gripped by Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns – and is a welcome recovery for those in the thick of travel retail. This year’s TFWA World Exhibition & Conference looks set to deliver a show much closer in comparison with the 2019 pre-pandemic offering – and show organisers are excited to welcome exhibitors and delegates back to the South of France from 1-5 October.
Exhibition space has been increased for 2023 – more in keeping with the floorspace enjoyed before the pandemic.
“Visitor numbers will be significantly ahead of 2022, and will compare favourable with those of 2019,” the spokesperson says. “The increase in numbers has been driven in part by the recovery of the Asian market, with Asian buyers now able to travel more freely. We expect this year’s Cannes event to be a truly global affair.”
The much-anticipated TFWA World Conference is scheduled to kick off at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes on Monday 2 October at 9am.
TFWA president Erik Juul-Mortensen will deliver his opening speech before the 2023 keynote speaker, American journalist and author Bob Woodward, winner of two Pulitzer Prizes, will take the stage. Woodward won the prestigious awards in 1973 for his investigative reporting on the Watergate scandal, and in 2003 for his work as a lead reporter on the coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Other speakers booked for the conference include professor and author Erin Meyer, author of The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business. She will cover topics such as leadership, business trends, diversity and the future of work.
Economist, entrepreneur and author Dr Pippa Malmgren, who served as a special assistant to US president George W Bush, is also lined up to speak. Her expertise will shed light on geopolitical risks and trends, economic policy, Brexit, and tech innovation.
“The TFWA Airport Forum workshop will return this year, giving delegates the opportunity to hear the findings of ACI’s ANARA working group on the future for non-aeronautical revenues,” a TFWA spokesperson adds. “With regards to the exhibition, we have more than 400 companies taking part, including around 70 new exhibitors, and our Beach Village and Ambassadors Village have been extended. Meanwhile, TFWA i.lab will be housed in a new location in the Golden Village inside the Palais des Festivals.”
The i.lab has been designed to be an ideas hub, with a forum for “fresh thinking” about all aspects of the traveller experience, and to showcase innovative ways to engage travelling consumers. Among the workshops planned for the week will be Duty Free: Trusted, Transparent, Secure, an anti-illicit trade campaign. The talk will take place from 8am on Wednesday 4 October at the Majestic Hotel.
As has come to be expected at the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference, there will be plenty of networking opportunities for attendees.
“An opening cocktail will be held on the Carlton Beach on Sunday evening, while the same location will host the popular TFWA Lounge from Monday to Wednesday, with both after-work and later night-time sessions taking place,” the TFWA spokesperson noted.
For those attending this year’s show, there are a number of spirits stands worth stopping by. We detail some of the brands to check out during the 2023 event.
Stand: L71, Green Village
Beluga vodka will showcase its extensive product portfolio produced with exquisite craftsmanship in the ecological state of Montenegro. The Beluga Vodka brand is presented on the world’s market with 5 products: Beluga Noble, Beluga Celebration, Beluga Transatlantic Racing, Beluga Allure, and Beluga Gold Line. The stand will be dedicated to the brand’s bestselling product, Beluga Gold Line, which has become a symbol of prosperity and success.
Noblewood Group looks forward to one-to-one meetings with its long-term and new partners, introducing them to its renowned and iconic Beluga vodka from the Adriatic Riviera. The quality of its super-premium vodka has remained consistently high, and according to some experts, even surpasses it, benefitting from production in one of the most ecological countries in the world.
Andreas Ioannides, managing director at Noblewood Group, shared: “This year’s show is special for us as it represents the new beginning for the Beluga brand, its new origin, and the new milestones ahead of us.”
Stand: K68, Green Village
There’s heaps to discover at La Martiniquaise-Bardinet’s stand during this year’s show. But first and foremost, the French drinks company will be proudly presenting its latest acquisition: Generous Gin.
The purchase was announced in April when La Martiniquaise-Bardinet took over Generous Gin’s parent company, Ôdevie Creative Spirits. Generous Gin is produced in the Cognac region of France.
In addition to the gin brand, there will be a number of exclusive Glen Moray Scotch whiskies for visitors to discover. Plus, 2023 marks the 100th anniversary of Cutty Sark Scotch whisky, and the show will mark the final celebration of the iconic brand.
“Cannes is always about seeing our clients from around the world, especially from the Middle East and Africa,” said Donatien Ferrari, group communication manager, La Martniquaise-Bardinet.
Stand: B4, Blue Village
Visit Liviko in the Blue Village to engage in a unique sensory experience concept. Crafter’s Gin will be showcased through Crafter’s Sensory Potions, and guests will be able to experience ‘new horizons’ in the gin category.
The aim is to inspire visitors to think outside the box when it comes to gin. Furthermore, the stand will also spotlight Vana Tallinn Liqueur, known as Estonia’s signature liqueur, alongside Estonian vodkas Viru Valge, Bellingshausen, and Hõbe. “This year’s show is very important for us,” said Gloria Hallaste, export marketing specialist, Liviko. “We can’t wait to meet our friends and partners, and, of course, to introduce Crafter’s to new markets.
“We are also one of the product distribution sponsors of the TFWA Lounge – Crafter’s cocktails can be enjoyed at the Carlton Beach TFWA Lounge. We hope that the outcome is positive and successful for everyone.”
Tito’s Handmade Vodka
Texas-made vodka brand Tito’s has remained loyal to its single vodka style – but will be showcasing a selection of bottle sizes to cater for all travel retail and duty free needs. Plus, the brand is bringing its ‘always popular’ Tito’s ‘Ugly Sweater’ travel retail-exclusive back in time for the festive season.
John McDonnell, managing director, international, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, said: “We’re looking forward to another terrific event this year. Being in Cannes is always a valuable opportunity to reconnect with our many distributor and retailer colleagues from around the world, and of course meet new friends too.”
While vodka drinkers worldwide become increasingly familiar with Tito’s Handmade Vodka, the brand notes there are still many untapped markets it is keen to move into. During the 2023 show, Tito’s hopes to make itself known to new domestic and duty free customers, while also reconnecting with existing valued distributors and retailers.
Stand: E30, Yellow Village
There’s an air of mystery shrouding the Nemiroff stand – but this Ukrainian vodka producer is promising to unveil a new product at this year’s event.
On 3 October, the new ultra-premium vodka will be revealed at the Nemiroff Launch Event – and the brand is certain the liquid will please vodka fans. In addition to the new product launch, the brand’s premium portfolio will also be available for all to discover, including Nemiroff De Luxe and The Inked Collection, Nemiroff’s flavoured line.
“We extend a warm invitation to enthusiasts and industry expert to join us for the prestigious unveiling event during the TFWA in Cannes on 3 October,” said Sofiya Makaruk, global PR for Nemiroff. “To secure your spot and get more details for this unforgettable event and to dive deeper into the world of this incredible new product, please RSVP by reaching out to firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Nemiroff is eager to enhance its visibility and to gain a strong foothold in airport retail spaces, as is strives to appeal to discerning travellers. The brand is actively seeking collaborations with key players in the European travel retail market.
Stand: J17, Red Village
If you’re looking for high-quality English spirits, look no further than the Cotswolds Distillery stand. The English producer’s entire range of products will be on display – to be enhanced further by the official launch of three travel-retail-exclusive products. These will include: a one-litre Cotswolds Signature Single Malt Whisky, a one-litre Cotswolds Dry Gin, and a 700ml Sherry-based travel retail-exclusive, which is being kept under wraps for now.
“We very much look forward to meeting with current customers, and also expanding our distribution globally,” said Lynsey Eades, international sales and global travel retail director, Cotswolds Distillery. “We have an amazing portfolio and team, so we are a must-visit for any retailer looking to excite and engage passengers with super-premium products.”
The company hopes to use the networking opportunities at the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference to expand its presence in travel retail, and to grow its positioning as a leader of English whisky in the world whisky category.
Ian Macleod Distillers
Stand: K22, Red Village
Scottish spirits producer Ian Macleod Distillers is no stranger to global travel retail, and has a number of new releases up its sleeve. This year, the company will debut three new and exclusive single malt Scotch whiskies – including two ultra-premium expressions, one from Tamdhu and one from Rosebank.
The Rosebank Lowland Single Malt Whisky (46.8% ABV) is the first bottling from the company’s Remarkable Casks collection. A vatting of five hand-picked casks, this whisky is 31 years old, and will retail for £2,500 (US$3,179) per 700ml bottle. The release follows Ian Macleod’s purchase of Rosebank Distillery and its stocks in October 2017.
Meanwhile, the new Tamdu 46 Years Old is a single-cask bottling, also created exclusively for global travel retail. It will launch in the channel in 2024, priced at £16,000 per bottle.
Completing the trio of new releases will be another expression from Tamdhu: Cuatro Reserva. The bottling has been created to provide an ‘accessible entry point’ for travellers to discover Sherry-aged whisky. Bottled at 41.2% ABV, Tamdhu Cuatro Reserva will sell for RRP £76.99 per 700ml bottle.
Stand: H6, Red Village
Penderyn will be flying the flag for Wales at this year’s TFWA World Exhibition & Conference. Among the many spirits due to be celebrated will be the relaunch of the distillery’s Dragon Range of single malt whiskies. The TFWA Cannes show will be the first public international trade event to feature the revamped range.
Furthermore, new packaging for Penderyn Faraday will also be revealed during the show – containing the same liquid, but now available in a travel retail and duty free-exclusive 100ml format. (Currently, the bottling comes in a standard 700ml size). Penderyn will also be joining The Spirits Business at the annual Beach Party on the Monday evening, as the official whisky sponsor of the event.
Simon Roffe, director, business development, Penderyn Distillery, said: “Penderyn Distillery are delighted to partner with The Spirits Business again, and on this occasion at the always popular Spirits Business TFWA Party. It’s a great opportunity to relax with industry friends and colleagues and a great chance to share our award-winning single malt whiskies with everyone in such a great setting.”