Full details at www.whiskyconference.com
WORLD WHISKIES LO
2006 CONFERENCE ERS
for det ge
REPORT May 2006
Delegates applaud Delegate feedback from the
Conference evaluation forms was
inaugural Conference A remarkable 82% of delegates
ranked the Conference “very good” or
“excellent”– a stunning achievement for
Delegates at the first World South Africa and the UK travelled to the Conference. Frank Coleman, Senior a brand new and untried event.
Whiskies Conference voted the event Edinburgh International Conference Vice President, Public Affairs and 92% of delegates agreed there was a
an outstanding success. Centre to hear a wide range of topics Communications, the Distilled Spirits real need for the Conference and 89%
In a typical reaction one delegate addressed by industry leaders. The Council said: "The World Whiskies would recommend it to a colleague.
told us “I think many were a little Conference also attracted extensive Conference is to be commended for With virtually every delegate
sceptical to begin with about the event media interest throughout the world,as bringing together an interesting and returning an evaluation form the results
but it turned out to be a fantastic two well as comprehensive daily bulletins diverse group of industry leaders to are a huge vote of confidence in the
days. I certainly learned a lot. From on leading industry web information discuss the critical issues we are facing, concept and delivery of the World
conversations with other delegates they provider just-drinks.com. including the importance of actively Whiskies Conference and an
all spoke of its great success – we'll It’s clear that the World Whiskies promoting responsible consumption and endorsement of the initial programme.
definitely see you there next year.” Conference is fulfilling an important rigorous,effective self-regulation.” See inside for further poll details and
The strength of the Conference gap in the market. Chris Brook-Carter of The final word comes from learn how the event will be improved
proved to be the combination of venue, just-drinks.com endorsed that when he Conference Director Ian Buxton: “We for 2007.
authoritative speakers and a lively told us: “I think you have filled an have ambitious plans for the World
delegate group, ready to participate important gap in the drinks calendar – a Whiskies Conference 2007. We’d like CONTENTS
and debate a range of topical issues. very interesting couple of days, with to thank all our delegates, presenters
Over 120 delegates from the USA, excellent speakers and a great showing and sponsors from this inaugural year 1 News review
Japan, Canada, Italy, Germany, Sweden, from the world's industry.” and assure them that we’ll be back Highlights from the 2 days
India, Switzerland, Ireland, Australia, International delegates praised the bigger, better and bolder for 2007.”
2-4 Day 1 reviews
Wakely,Carver, Keith, Allen,
Mark your diary now! Mathews, Mackay, Riley,
Hegarty, Bankier, Benitah,
Dates have been announced for International Conference Centre on Campbell, Nugent, Riley,
the 2007 World Whiskies Conference. Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th Horder & Paterson
In view of the overwhelmingly April 2007.
positive reactions to the venue this See back page for more details, but
5-7 Day 2 reviews
For more photos of the Gala Castroviejo, Broom, Just
Dinner see back page will again be held in the Edinburgh mark these dates in your calendar now! Drinks, Claessens, Weber,
Event Sponsors Track Sponsors Krishna
8 Gala Dinner
Photographic review of the
2007 Dates and Details
Issue 1 • WORLD WHISKIES CONFERENCE REPORT •1
Will spirits go the The tobacco industry in several countries has
way of tobacco? come under sustained attack from various
government and health lobbying groups.
Wyndham Carver As country after country moves to ban smoking in
public places, Wyndham Carver looked at the
possibility of such legislation being brought to bear
on the spirits industry.
With a background in spirits marketing and
working in the tobacco industry, Carver has been at
the forefront of campaigning for exemptions in
tobacco legislation, and warned spirit producers that
the ‘antis’ were a powerful group and
Speaking in a personal capacity, he counselled the
industry to listen to the critics and learn. Also he
urged producers to speak with one voice and match
their words with actions.
Carver put his point across graphically with
The future of whisky illustrations taken from cigarette boxes, and applied
in the international them to whisky bottles.
To conclude he added that similar legislation,
drinks industry aimed at tackling binge drinking, could be
earmarked for the spirits industry and it was up to
John Wakely, L&B Advisors companies to face up to it before it is too late.
John Wakely, who set the bar for his fellow
speakers and mood for the event, kicked off the Future markets: doing business in China
World Whiskies Conference to a fine start.
With an opening line of “my career has been
Richard Keith, formerly Scottish & Newcastle
spent abusing managements in the alcoholic
beverage industry” it was easy to see that Wakely China is one of the great expanding markets new drinking culture. He looked at how whisky
was taking no prisoners during his discussion of the of the moment and whisky is in great demand. producers could develop specific brands aimed at
future of whisky in the international drinks industry. Using his experiences with brewers Scottish & the Far East market when doing business with China,
The former investment analyst, now managing Newcastle, Richard Keith looked at how whisky and reap the benefits of an ever growing number of
director of L&B Advisors,started off by looking at the producers could take advantage of the increasing whisky drinkers.
Indian market, how five year old whisky fared with demand for premium whisky.
consumers and the emerging Far East markets. He explained how companies could follow the
He also turned his attention to Chivas Brothers brewer’s example, creating a niche for top of the
and Diageo and discussed how the two companies range brands and developing the tastes of this
had made great successes selling in the premium
He predicted that the single malt industry has a Innovation in whisky
good future with continued innovation in
packaging and product, and investment in new
Charles Allen,Global Brand Director Whisk(e)y Portfolio Brands,Diageo
markets like China,all leading to substantially higher
revenue due to price and mix, rather than Charles Allen, from Diageo, used the example
just volume. of high jumper Dick Fosbury to show how a
He also said it would probably be the smaller change in approach could lead to innovation and
companies that would garner most of this benefit, invention in whisky. He defined the strict
but they must rid themselves of paying too much parameters by which Scotch whisky is defined
attention to the UK or the supermarkets. and then showed how it was possible to provide
the market with something new. He used
Diageo’s J&B brand as an illustration, and in
particular the J&B -6ºC and Nox expressions, and
90% of delegates rated the general
organisation “excellent” or he showed how the company had worked with a
“very good.” top chef to create a J&B ‘caviar’and packaged J&B
in spheres, presenting an established brand in a
2 • WORLD WHISKIES CONFERENCE REPORT • Issue 1
WORLD WHISKIES CONFERENCE REPORT
Lessons from luxury goods Your visitors should
Jamie Fraser, Managing Director, Hamilton & Inches be your best
jewellers Hamilton & Inches, looked at ways of
inspiring whisky buyers.
Paul Mackay, Managing
He placed emphasis on the essential marketing Director, Imagination Group
key of creating an emotional connection between
the product and its heritage. He believed that this Paul Mackay of Imagination looked at how
would allow the customer to connect with where the drinks companies could break out of their
product came from. traditional way of communicating with their
He told delegates that consumers had three customers and get to know them better through
things in mind when they were considering buying a different approach. Using the example of the
premium brands – time, family and the impact on Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, which has
the environment. become Ireland’s top tourist attraction, he
The whisky world could learn a lot of lessons Looking to the future, he recommended stressed the importance of heritage and the
from the world of luxury goods. producers and retailers should consider the China stories that can accompany a brand, and he
Jamie Fraser, managing director of boutique market and use the internet as a key selling resource. showed ways that companies could connect
with their target drinkers by emotionally
involving them in the brand.
Getting the most
from your marketing
Simon Mathews, Managing
Director, Rise Communications
With the role of advertising playing such a large
part in modern life, Simon Mathews of Rise
Communications looked at innovative and different
ways of using the marketing budget.
Early on in his seminar, Mathews discussed ways
other than TV advertising to influence the market,
including websites, text messages and email.
He urged producers to understand and then
surpass what the consumer expected from the
company and create good word of mouth, stating
that brands that had managed this grew four times
faster than others.
He also looked at using creativity with brand
Six malts from one packaging in shops instead of advertising, and that
distillery; how and distributing to the right places can also be effective
communication with the consumer.
why do they do it?
Dr Hisashi Maemura,Yamazaki
Manager of Distilling, Suntory
Few of us are fortunate enough to travel to Japan
and visit the distilleries there, so the seminar by
Suntory’s Dr Hisashi Maemura provided a fascinating
insight in to the working of the Yamazaki Distillery.
The distillery produces six different malts there and “I believe the event was a great
after a picture tour of the distillery’s award-winning success.... this will become an
important part of the drinks
and state of the art facilities delegates were given a
technical explanation of how the introduction of
yeast is varied to provide different products.
Issue 1 • WORLD WHISKIES CONFERENCE REPORT • 3
Lessons from the
Dr Paul Hegarty,
Head of Communications,
Whisky producers and retailers could take the profile of beer.
some pointers from their cousin – beer, the head of He said that one of the most important things to
communications for Coors Brewers told delegates. bear in mind when taking an industry approach to
Dr Paul Hegarty looked at how beer had tried to improving public perception was that everyone
shake off its previous image and become serious be positive, and do not knock other brands
competition for wine. or categories.
He discussed the whole marketing campaigns The result, he added was that in the end both
by groups such as the Beautiful Beer organisation large and small companies won.
and the Beer Academy, which had helped to raise
Driving sales in Driving sales in the
multiple retailers independents
Michael Riley, Business Unit Ian Bankier, Chairman,
Director Spirits, Liquor Control The Whisky Shop Iain Bankier of The Whisky Shop and Thierry
Board of Ontario Thierry Bénitah, Owner, La Bénitah of La Maison du Whisky have both built up
successful whisky businesses and each of them
As the spirits director of one of the largest Maison du Whisky explained what they did and why.Although the two
spirits retailers in the world, Michael Riley shared his presentations had been prepared separately it was
knowledge of how to drive sales in multiple retail. intriguing to see the similarities between the two
The Liquor Control Board of Ontario has spirit operations and compare and contrast their
sales of more than CAN $1.4billion each year. activities in Britain and France. In what was one of
His simple recipe for spirits growth was to the most upbeat presentations of the two days
understand the customers’ habits, which then both entrepreneurs were living proof that business
allowed the Board to prioritise categories and success is achievable in the whisky retailing
develop strategies for growth. business if the right business model is applied.
He added that the vision of the Board was to
‘engage customers in a discovery of the world of
beverage alcohol’. “Cunning alchemists
The Board has also pioneered several awards for
staff, trade and retailers, and has set up a spirits
and the hunt for the
advocate program to educate sales staff not only on philosopher's stone”
product knowledge but also how to sell spirits.
Riley also said that the Board organises a month-
Dr Natasha Munshi, Cass
long promotion in its stores to highlight the world of Business School
whisky. In the past this has launched more than 30
new products and given customers the chance to What makes Scotch whisky unique and how
taste products. His main message to whisky can the industry defend that uniqueness.That was
producers was that collaboration was the key the theme of the presentation of Dr Natasha
to growth. Munshi, cryptically named “cunning alchemists
and the hunt for the philosopher’s stone” Dr .
Munshi gave examples of what industry personnel
had identified as the unique character of the
industry and her session became one of the most
92% of delegates rated the Gala
Dinner at the Balmoral “excellent” or interactive of the conference as delegates enjoyed
“very good”. a whisky and debated what made the world of
whisky so special, and how important that was to
4 • WORLD WHISKIES CONFERENCE REPORT • Issue 1
WORLD WHISKIES CONFERENCE REPORT
Responsibility, moderation and self-
regulation Frank Coleman, Public Affairs, Distilled Spirits
Council of the United States; Campbell Evans, Director of
Government & Consumer Affairs, Scotch Whisky Association
This critically-important keynote presentation Evans went on to describe SWA efforts to inform the
opened day two of the Conference, with senior
representatives of two of the most important global
political debate and outlined the five basic principles
of social responsibility promoted by the World
Trends and issues
industry associations leading a discussion on Spirits Alliance. in world whisky
responsibility, moderation and self-regulation – themes From the USA, Frank Coleman outlined the role of
close to the heart of the worldwide whisky industry. DISCUS. In a market that is still shaped by Prohibition,
Anne Nugent, Head of
From the SWA Campbell Evans drew attention to the DISCUS has worked to educate politicians and the Research, Euromonitor
diversity of drinking styles of the European consumer media about the heritage of the distilling industry,which
with a pointed contrast between sophisticated dates back to George Washington. Euromonitor’s alcoholic drinks research
Stockholm club-goers and a binge drinking culture Coleman stressed that “cultural acceptance and provides strategic analysis of the global market
prevalent amongst some UK nightclub and pub users.A .
responsibility were key to commercial success” Industry and in-depth coverage of the alcoholic drinks
sharp intake of breath from delegates followed the initiatives on responsible drinking back to 1965 were industry in more than 60 countries worldwide,and
chastening quote from Scottish Health Minister Andy illustrated and current programmes to combat drink offers an online alcoholic drinks Integrated Market
Kerr,“The way I look at the alcohol debate is that I think that driving and under-age drinking were shown in detail. Information System (IMIS).
we are in the foothills of the debate that we have now had He concluded by emphasising that constant Anne positioned whisk(e)y within the global
on smoking” . vigilance was necessary, both against pressure-group spirits market, demonstrating trends at a regional
attack on the industry’s freedoms and vigorous self- level, by product category and by volume
regulation to ensure consistently high standards. If we compared to other spirits.
promote moderation and a message of “Drink better,not Major whisk(e)y markets, such as India and the
more” then our industry will continue to prosper. USA, were then analysed in greater depth and the
potential of developing markets demonstrated by
reference to current volumes and growth trends.
Successful relaunch of a global icon Anne also covered key demographic indicators
in major markets and the implications of these for
Martin Riley, International Marketing Director, Chivas Brothers whisky volumes. An analysis of countries with the
fastest growth in disposable incomes showed
Taking the idea of brand building one stage further, taken in the communication strategy for the relaunch of eight out of the top 15 fastest growing countries
Martin Riley, Chivas Brothers International Marketing the iconic whisky – including having a certain element are in Asia,and a further five within Eastern Europe.
Director,looked at how the company has relaunched its of lifestyle such as an attitude to life. Looking more broadly at key trends in
global icon. To emphasise this point,he showed a series of glossy consumer behaviour, Anne emphasised the
Riley took delegates through the Chivas Regal history advertising campaigns from the ‘This is the Chivas Life’ importance of organic, green and environmental
focusing on what had made the brand strong,including promotions. In sharing the lessons Chivas had learned, issues; identified growing evidence for
its use of non traditional Scotch branding and Riley said that three of the most important things to ‘authenticity’ in products and a nostalgia factor
packaging.He also revealed that taking a sample of the come out of the work were to build on the brand’s core (especially in Eastern Europe and Japan)
market had shown that for most people Chivas was still image, take a long term perspective and to remember and pointed up the positioning opportunities
regarded as one of the most prestigious whiskies. what made the brand unique. for whisk(e)y.
The seminar included some of the changing faces of If chocolatiers can sell wines and liqueurs,
Chivas advertising campaigns from the 1960s to the challenged Nugent, how can whisky exploit this
present day – particularly focusing on the impact of the trend to indulgence and premium quality?
relaunch in 2000. Riley said that there were several steps
Competitions; what If you’ve ever won a major award you’ll know
the benefit of entering them. But still many
of how recognition in awards could help build and
establish a brand. And he treated
are they worth? companies don’t take the major drinks awards his audience to a tipple of one of his company’s
seriously enough.That was theme of the session by prize winners.
Frances Horder, IWSC; and Frances Horder of the International Wine and Spirit
Richard Paterson,Whyte & Competition, who stressed that there is not only a
strong commercial value to receiving award
Mackay recognition but there was a huge team-boosting
“I am sorry that I did not make day
2, but if day 1 was representative,
morale factor too. She was joined by Whyte & you had a success on your hands.”
Mackay’s master blender Richard Paterson, no
stranger to receiving awards, who gave examples
Issue 1 • WORLD WHISKIES CONFERENCE REPORT • 5
Whisky's place in global drinks
Maria Castroviejo, Industry Analyst, Rabobank
Rabobank’s business analyst looked at where
whisky was placed in the global drinks market.
Castroviejo used market figures and sales
information to show who was growing fastest in the
western world and why, and who in the Indian
market was going to be worth watching.
She also discussed how major banks could help
whisky firms by looking at financing, exports and
investments,and also in an advisory role for investors
The Malt Report: an overview of the global
performance of malt whisky
Dave Broom and Just-drinks.com The North American
Whisky Magazine’s contributing editor Dave
Broom tackled the performance of malt whisky transatlantic view
across the globe.
He looked at the current state of play within the
Ken Weber, Global Brand
malt whisky category and discussed how distillers Director, Buffalo Trace Distillery
and brand owners were having to face up to the next
step-change in malt’s evolution. Ed O’Daniel of the Kentucky Distillers’Association
Broom advocated that the different approaches and Ken Weber of Buffalo Trace gave a fascinating
taken by the major players were a clear indication of and somewhat sobering assessment of the North
malt growing up, of products becoming brands. He American spirits market. Delegates were shown
counselled that malt needs to resist the temptation statistics revealing the dominance of vodka in the
to devalue its premium credentials for short-term States but the figures also revealed that there was no
volume gain. single national market and huge variations
He explained it needed to identify not just the regionally. New York, for instance, had a much higher
needs of consumers in each market, but also the consumption of Scotch than many other states.
different needs of a range of consumer groups. Delegates also heard how America is very price
There is no single malt consumer he told the sensitive and doesn’t pay premium prices for spirits,
seminar, there are many… which is the greatest and that a supplier had to be prepared to invest for
opportunity of all. years to build a top brand.
New packaging trends Francis-Michael Claessens,
Managing Director, Claessens International
Claessens International is well-known to many presentation, claiming the record for the largest
in the global spirits industry having worked on the number of slides in any WWC presentation,the firm’s
packaging and brand development of a large founder Francis-Michael Claessens demonstrated
number of famous brands and the introduction of the contribution of packaging to brand evolution
many NPD projects. and longevity.
In a highly-polished and fast-moving Subtle packaging changes from a number of
spirit categories were illustrated and their
79% of delegates rated the World contribution to brand values, pricing and
Whiskies Conference “more consumer recognition and sales uptake
interesting than I expected” and convincingly demonstrated. changing consumer lifestyles, demographic trends
92% agreed “I learned something
Delegates enjoyed a series of detailed case and the needs of developing markets was
new, interesting and valuable.”
studies and much background information on presented as back-up to the main points.
6 • WORLD WHISKIES CONFERENCE REPORT • Issue 1
WORLD WHISKIES CONFERENCE REPORT
Alpha Retail’s Martin Petchey gave delegates an
insight in to the mind of the travelling whisky buyer
through his experience in global tax free and
Delegates were shown, with a series of
photographs showing displays in airports, how
important the impact of branding and displays were
to the travelling public.
He also emphasised the importance offers such as
Driving sales in “two bottles for £30” or even getting a free gift with
a purchase played for the public when making a
global tax free and decision on what to buy. An overview of the
travel retail One of his tips for the industry was to look at how
the fragrance companies had marketed themselves
Martin Petchey, Alpha Retail in airports. market and its
Opening a new of reviving the Gaelic-speaking tradition on the island Dr Mohan Krishna, Marketing
distillery & building of Skye he introduced new industries with the aim of
Director, Cheers Spirits India
the brand Sir Iain Noble, This led to the foundation in 1976 of Pràban na
Linne, the Gaelic Whisky Company, which now plans As the fourth largest economy in the world,
Pràban na Linne; Magnus its own distillery.The £3m project, part-funded by the India is looking more and more like an attractive
Dandanell, Mackmyra Distillery local enterprise company, is due to open in late 2008. market for whisky producers.
“This is about putting Skye on the whisky trail with Dr Mohan Krishna, Cheers Spirits India
Many who work in the whisky industry have a new Gaelic whisky,” explained Sir Iain. “Everyone is marketing director, gave delegates an overview
harboured the dream of opening and running their rather excited about the idea of having two distilleries of the market and its future, including the
own distillery. But it’s one thing to have the dream, in Skye and I'm sure Talisker will benefit.” increased demand for better quality products.
altogether something different to go and do it. In this Whilst the Skye project is still on the drawing board, During his seminar, Dr Krishna said that India
very popular session, two independent distilling Mackmyra Distillery is now marketing the world’s first was a complex market with significant entry
pioneers told how they ‘walked the walk’. Swedish whisky. Distillery founder Magnus Dandanell tariffs for new entrants,but with 130 million cases
Sir Iain Noble described himself as a ‘pluralist’– one explained the genesis of the project, outlined funding of Scotch sold each year the potential for growth
with a large variety of interests. Starting with a dream sources and showed how the product was developed. was impressive.
Innovative marketing ideas were also shared with He added that the whisky market was set to
delegates, such as Mackmyra’s 30 litre cask – which expand to 180 million cases by 2015.
customers are able to carry away from the distillery. He advised that the expansion possibilities
Such is the interest in the project that the distillery’s created a considerable opportunity for spirits
first public release of whisky sold out in under players in terms of pushing to gain more of the
30 minutes! market share.
Is old Europe too poor to buy its own
whisky? A consumer voice
Dr Clemens Dillmann, Whisky.de
The World Whiskies Conference is a trade-only made by distillers in allocating scarce products to
industry event. But Dr Clemens Dillmann wears global markets.
two hats. Were the “poor philosopher” consumers in ‘Old
By day he provides software and web design Europe’ effectively denied the superior products
services to the spirits industry, including reserved for Asia’s “super-rich capitalists”? Dr Dillmann
management of many of Germany’s most popular quite deliberately posed more questions than he
drinks web sites. By night he is a passionate answered, leaving delegates to consider the effects of
whisky enthusiast. their global distribution strategies, some perhaps
“Thanking you for your excellent
His provocative and challenging presentation unintentional, on Europe’s traditional whisky markets.
organisation of the World Whisky
looked at the difficulties of marketing in highly As he demonstrated, some consumers have even Conference. We feel privileged to
competitive mature markets; the impact of pricing on begun distilling their own whisky – taking lessons have been a part of it.”
brand image and the strategic distribution choices from distillery visitor centres, perhaps!
Issue 1 • WORLD WHISKIES CONFERENCE REPORT • 7
For further information:
• Visit our website and book on line at
2006 CONFERENCE www.whiskyconference.com
• Email the Conference Director Ian Buxton on
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If you did not attend, and wish to view all the presentations, you can access
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• 67% said it was “better value than expected”
• 82% of delegates rated the Conference Event Supporters
“excellent” or “very good”
• 89% said “I would definitely recommend to a
• 94% said “I would attend a future event”
8 • WORLD WHISKIES CONFERENCE REPORT • Issue 1