GLOBAL BRAND AM­BAS­SADOR, STRUAN GRANT RALPH, WIL­LIAM GRANT & SONS BRANDS LTD.

Hospitality News Middle East - - PRODUCT ZONE -

In the last five years, tastes have changed sig­nif­i­cantly, es­pe­cially as the mil­len­nial gen­er­a­tion be­gins to make its mark. What are your thoughts?

I’d say whisky tastes have be­come a lot more re­fined, with the gen­er­a­tion of whisky drinkers be­ing bet­ter in­formed and more ed­u­cated on whisky than at any time be­fore. For us, that has meant be­ing able to ex­per­i­ment more with cask fin­ishes and new prod­ucts to ap­peal to this em­pow­ered gen­er­a­tion of whisky drinkers.

What mar­ket­ing strate­gies have the global whisky brands em­ployed to dis­tin­guish them­selves and what sets them apart?

Glen­fid­dich launched the Ex­per­i­men­tal se­ries in both the UAE and Le­banon over the last two years and has seen great re­sults in both mar­kets, with an ex­ist­ing com­mu­nity of whisky drinkers wel­com­ing the ini­tia­tive. We did this by telling new sto­ries about an old tra­di­tional whisky-mak­ing cul­ture and cre­at­ing new prod­ucts, which were both high qual­ity and ex­cit­ing, and by host­ing launch par­ties in both mar­kets.

What do you think the ‘Next Big Thing’ is go­ing to be in whisky in the coming year and why?

I think con­tin­ued in­no­va­tion and ex­per­i­men­ta­tion will be big in the coming years. I also think whisky pro­duc­ers will start to ad­dress changes in our cli­mate and how to con­tend with in­creas­ingly volatile weather.

The mod­ern con­sumer has ac­quired a di­verse palate, while the cock­tail cul­ture has played a sig­nif­i­cant role in de­vel­op­ing this trend. What are your thoughts on this topic?

The hey­day of the cock­tail was ar­guably 100 years ago, when the era of clas­sic cock­tails gave con­sumers a taste for spir­its. The mod­ern trend is an ex­ten­sion of that, with mod­ern con­sumers en­joy­ing drinks that were cre­ated years ago.

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