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Bacardi Plans New Dewar’s Offerings To Tempt Bourbon Drinkers

December 1, 2014

Bacardi Ltd. is backing its Dewar’s Scotch label with a robust innovation agenda as it looks to reinforce the brand’s position as an authentic, accessible whisky option for Millennial consumers. Last year, Dewar’s reached 1.22 million cases in the U.S. on 1.7% growth, according to Impact Databank, placing it second among Scotch whisky brands in the market after Johnnie Walker, which it trails by about half a million cases.

This holiday season, Bacardi USA is offering a limited-edition Dewar’s 15-Year-Old, taking advantage of the relative lack of 15-year-old blends currently in the U.S. market. The liquid is married in Sherry and Bourbon casks for notes of citrus and coconut, says Dewar’s vice president and brand director Dan Pilas. It’s available in a holiday gift box for about $50 a bottle.

Next year, Dewar’s will expand further with the release of a new product called Scratch Cask (about $24). The blended Scotch whisky is finished in charred and scratched American oak barrels, imparting notes of vanilla and oak, similar to those of Bourbon. “It’s unique—and pushes the boundaries within the Scotch realm,” Pilas tells SND. “We’re giving Bourbon drinkers who are looking at the Scotch space a bridge for that transition.” Bacardi plans to target younger LDA drinkers for the U.S. launch of Scratch Cask next spring, with heavy on-premise activity and a strong digital outreach.

Dewar’s also continues to reach out to new Scotch drinkers through its Highlander Honey ($24.99) flavored offshoot. Consumer feedback for Highlander Honey has been positive since its launch last year, and the product will continue to receive marketing and on-premise support, Bacardi says, although there are no immediate plans for further flavored releases.

In addition to exploring new taste frontiers, Bacardi recently rolled out a global “Live True” campaign for Dewar’s, as well as updated packaging across its line, including the core White Label ($19.99). The new look “brings forward the premium and authentic cues of the brand, which is important when you think about the transition of the category and where consumers are going,” Pilas says. Dewar’s is also eyeing gains for its higher-level 12-Year-Old ($28.99), 18-Year-Old ($69.99) and Signature ($179.99) expressions.

 

 

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