Whisky is entering a new era in Australia, shaking off its fusty reputation and being embraced by younger consumers. There has been a 50% increase in Millennial whiskey consumers according to Roy Morgan, with The Glenlivet being the biggest retail growth contributor in the past two years.
Drinks Digest spoke to Senior Brand Manager Jessica Bath (below) on what’s driving the trend and growth for the brand.
Why do you think Millennials are embracing whisky?
Category trends are showing a Millennial focus on premiumisation, the need for light and refreshing drinks, craft and exploration. We’re seeing these behaviours translate into more experimental serves especially when it comes to whisky. In single-malts, The Glenlivet caters to these needs through leveraging their heritage as the original speyside single-malt that prides itself on its flavour profile being perfect for mixing, which our younger demographic are responding well to.
The number of female whisky drinkers is rapidly growing. In the US 37% of US whisky drinkers are female, up from 15% in 1990. Are you seeing a similar trend in Australia?
Yes, we are also seeing women entering the whisky category in Australia. Single-malt whisky has always been a status symbol, but it used to be seen as reserved for men in suits in dark whisky dens. We at The Glenlivet certainly don’t think power is only for old men in suits any more, and our new cohort of whisky drinkers – female, male, or any other gender – certainly agree with us!
Female whisky drinkers are embracing this status symbol with pride. We see this coinciding with the breaking down of conventions and stereotypes when it comes to drinking. This is also accompanied by an explosion of ways to drink whisky – mixed or straight – however it suits your palate. Innovations like the Glenlivet Caribbean Cask, with its unique tropical flavour notes, support this.
Can you tell me more about what’s driving growth for the brand in the market in Australia?
We attribute this to a few factors including innovation in the category. The introduction of Founder’s Reserve – our entry-level and ‘mixable’ single-malt has secured a substantial amount of growth for our brand by catering to the needs of new to category consumers, Similarly Caribbean Reserve (finished in ex Caribbean rum barrels) being a more convention breaking offer has been well received by our consumers who want to experiment with single-malts and enjoy scotch in summer.
There’s also been a ditching the seasonal stereotypes. Single-malt traditionally was viewed as a ‘winter’ drink, but this is no longer the case. Our drinks strategy includes a variety of fresh and light cocktails for summer as well as warm and cosy winter offerings, unlocking many more occasions to enjoy The Glenlivet across the calendar year
Have marketing initiatives such as partnering with recent events such as the Melbourne Fashion Festival and International Women’s Day been successful for the brand?
The Glenlivet is about challenging the status quo, being unconventional and catering to non-conformists. We believe that whisky is for everyone including women who have been underrepresented in the category for quite some time. Melbourne Fashion Festival share similar brand values celebrating inclusion and diversity and we have loved the collaboration with them to deliver a unique experience for the diverse audience they attract. As the official dark spirits partner The Glenlivet has been present at all runways throughout the 10-day festival including a unique pop-up bar The Glenlivet Social Club primarily based in the heart of Federation Square in the fashion district. We wanted people to have fun while drinking their whisky, in summery cocktails served on floating drinks trays to take them to the Caribbean before – and after – their experiences at Melbourne Fashion Festival.
International Women’s day is a day to celebrate women and break down bias towards them, something which The Glenlivet feels strongly about as a brand. The Glenlivet were proud sponsors of a Mary’s event on March 8, serving up ‘the new G&T -The Glenlivet and Tonic’ while guests were privileged to hear from artists and musicians on their experiences as women in the industry and how they have overcome challenges due to bias, stereotypes and discrimination.