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BlogSpirits & Wines

Peter Marshall (PM): Simon, welcome back to TRunblocked.com. Let’s get straight into it. How would you describe the general state of the global spirits market? 

Simon Roffe (SR): Hi Peter and thanks for the opportunity to share the latest news from the “Home of Welsh Whisky”. 2024 has been quite a challenging start and, pulling no punches, we’ve seen various levels of performance.

Overall, the Penderyn business ended 2023 in a robust state and our core brands are in line with expectations. There are bright spots, but it’s fair to say the global market is challenged by a variety of ongoing circumstances which I think most spirits brand owners would be in agreement with.

First, there are of course the geo-political issues in a number of regions such as Ukraine, the Middle East and indeed some Latin American markets and these have impacted on plans and continue to cause market delays, suppress demand etc.

Then the wider economic downturn has seen many markets suffering from high levels of inflation and quite often an impact on the long term trend towards premiumisation. From our perspective this is clear but also we haven’t seen consumers deterred from buying the special items and our Icons of Wales limited editions, for example, continue to prosper. The reaction to Penderyn Patagonia, only launched last September, has been simply amazing and the message is: “buy it while stocks last”.

 

 

Finally, I would say that the tensions we see around the world continue to challenge supply chains and we see dramatic increases in freight costs and lead times to our customers in India and beyond.

PM: Now last month was the mammoth ProWein event and Penderyn participated. What was your take on it in terms of the key trends you could identify?

SR: It’s clear from three hectic days in Dusseldorf that ProWein is becoming THE major B2B trade event for not just the wine business but increasingly the spirits industry, too. And it was fantastic to see the smaller producers able to share their brands with potential partners from around the world.

 

 

Clearly the Irish government provides a level of support to their spirits producers that is the envy of the rest of us from around these parts and probably the world!

Interesting to see that there was a showing of duty free operators in town, too.

Also, whilst whisky remains by far the largest spirits category and, within that, the continuing emergence of ‘world whiskies’ such as Penderyn is key, there is a massive explosion in tequila af mescal products along with flavoured spirits. Just how many of these brands can be commercially sustainable and how retailers can be flexible enough to factor in consumer tastes in store, remains open to question.

PM: Let’s move onto your own plans for 2024. What have you launched so far and what can we expect to see from Penderyn at the Summit of the Americas?

SR: Since TFWA in Cannes our focus in the duty free channel has been clear on, first, driving the relaunch of the new Dragon range including a new 100cl Penderyn Legend exclusive to the duty free channel. And second, launching our new 100cl travel exclusive Penderyn Faraday. Both Legend and Faraday are now featuring in activations rolling out across major duty free operators such as Avolta in London Heathrow and Gatwick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are also highlighting the opportunity our premium Gold range whiskies present as well as the upsell provided by our limited editions Icons of Wales series such as Patagonia.

I am happy to say that we have enjoyed pockets of success with a variety of duty free operators across the Americas, such as DFS, Canadian border stores and a few partners in LatAm, but of course the core aim for IAADFS is to drive listings and distribution.

PM: Wishing you continued success, Simon and look forward to seeing you at TFWA in Singapore next month.

SR: Thanks, Peter. See you there.

 

Peter Marshall

Founder: trunblocked.com/Marshall Arts

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