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An analysis of GlobalData’s Spirits Influencer Platform, which tracks more than 700 leading industry experts and their discussions pertaining to the emerging trends, pain areas, new fields of innovation and other popular areas on Twitter, has revealed Steve Rush, a spirits writer with specialization in whiskey, as the top spirits influencer during the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2020. He is also the Founding Editor at both The Whisky Wire and The Whisky Business.

Spirits blogger Inka Larissa emerged as the next top influencer among the discussions on spirits with an influencer score of 70. Larissa shares tips and tricks for hosting parties as well as drink-related city guides. Larissa is followed by Maccocktail, a spirits and food consultant, with an influencer score of 59.

Whiskey, cocktails and scotch were the most mentioned trends among spirits influencer discussions on Twitter during the period.

Smitarani Tripathy, Influencer Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The discussions around whiskey were related to different recipes to make whiskey at home with three key ingredients, water, yeast and barley. People are still avoiding social gathering due to COVID-19 pandemic; hence these recipes are largely discussed. Cocktails emerged as another top trend, led by the conversations related to cocktails sweeteners, which is essential not only to enhance the flavor of the drink but also to balance the bitterness or acidity and add texture.”

Diageo plc (Diageo), Beam Suntory and Chivas Brothers emerged as the most mentioned companies among spirits influencer discussions on Twitter during Q4 2020.

The discussions related to Diageo spiked when it announced the launch of a new Johnnie Walker blended Scotch whisky in December. It launched in small number of pilot cities, such as Monterey, Curitiba, Bangkok, Sofia and Houston. Beam Suntory emerged as another most mentioned company, led by surge in discussions when the company announced the launch of the third release in its Booker’s Bourbon 2020 Collection in December.

 

 

 
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TORONTO, February 16, 2021 – New trends emerged across almost every industry in 2020 as consumers and businesses adjusted to the realities of a global pandemic.

The beverage alcohol industry was no exception. 

Just like in fashion, beverage trends regularly come and go as the seasons change and the calendar flips to a new year. This year however, the changes in those trends are even more drastic because Canadians have experienced so many other lifestyle changes over the past 11 months. 

Canadians adjusted what they consumed, where they consumed it and even how they purchased it, which is leading to some exciting drink trends in 2021.

Corby Spirit and Wine have identified some drink trends to look out for and try this year:

·         E-commerce: While e-commerce has been booming in other industries for years, e-commerce in the beverage industry has been slow to catch up. That all changed with the COVID-19 pandemic as lockdowns and public health restrictions encouraged people to stay home as much as possible. Consumers flocked to online ordering options during the pandemic, and now that people have realized how convenient it is, the demand for e-commerce in the beverage alcohol industry is climbing significantly.

·         Gin: Although it has been a liquor cabinet staple for decades, gin has surged in popularity over the past few years. It is an incredibly versatile spirit, so much so that some people are even calling it “the new vodka.” Gin-based cocktails were gaining in popularity before the hospitality industry had to essentially shut down because of COVID; when they return, expect gin to pick up right where it left off — in demand by consumers. 

·         Cocktail Culture: There is hundreds of years of history behind cocktails, and so many great stories behind the origins of some of the classics. We are in a cocktail renaissance. Through them, bartenders can express their creative flair and consumers can mark memorable events and milestones. Even while the pandemic has us away from our favourite bars and pubs, people have been carrying on the cocktail culture, trying a little mixology of their own in their homes. 

·         Ready-to-Drink Products: Even if folks aren’t going full bartender at home with their cocktails, the fast-growing ready-to-drink segment is giving them easy access to their favourite drinks. Products like J.P. Wiser’s pre-mixed Old Fashioned and Manhattan cocktails conveniently provide consumers with sophisticated drinks in the comfort of their own home. These types of products also allow people to easily experiment with new categories they may not be familiar with.

·         Premiumization: The demand for premium quality spirits has been steadily increasing for a number of years. When people make the decision to have a drink, they want to put better spirits in their glasses. This trend doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon, and the entire cocktail culture is being nudged into a more premium space.

·         Drinking Local: Supporting local businesses has been popular for many years, and that sentiment has only become more popular with the pandemic. Canadians want to consume products that are close to their communities and it is no different in the beverage industry. Buying products made in places like Quebec, Ontario, and BC is very important to consumers, and this trend is going to stick around for years to come. 

No matter what drink trend you plan on trying out this year, one thing hasn’t changed – drinks help us mark the important occasions in our lives. There are so many moments in life to celebrate, and when you can share those moments with a loved one and the right drink, you can create a cherished memory.

 

Please drink responsibly. Don’t drink and drive.

 
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Knob Creek® Bourbon, a leader in the Small Batch Bourbon category for more than 25 years, is excited to announce the highly anticipated return of Knob Creek 9 Year Old to the Canadian market. This release marks the first official Canadian launch of a Knob Creek age-statement whiskey in more than four years. 

Scheduled to hit shelves coast-to-coast over the next month, Knob Creek 9 Year Old is boasting a new look. While its iconic flask bottle shape, as designed by Beam family member and Bourbon master distiller Booker Noe, and eagle’s beak remain brand hallmarks, Canadians will notice new premium touches to the vessel. These enhancements include a stamped wax seal, glass embossments and a 100-proof label, highlighting the whiskey’s pre-Prohibition credentials.  

“Canadians have been requesting the return of Knob Creek 9 Year Old for a long time and we are thrilled that we can bring it back for them. This whiskey is incredibly unique, with perfectly balanced notes of oak and sweetness. Whiskey lovers will enjoy every last drop of this fine spirit,” says Ray Daniel, Knob Creek Brand Ambassador. 

“As Canadians continue to explore and purchase whiskey at an unprecedented rate, the Knob Creek team is very pleased to re-release Knob Creek 9 Year Old. This beautifully aged expression is a category disruptor, offering premium, small batch liquid, encased in a stunning package, at an accessible price point,” says Lisa Li, Senior Brand Manager, Bourbon at Beam Suntory Canada Inc. “As the first brand to ever carry the ‘small batch’ designation, Knob Creek’s commitment to craftsmanship cannot be missed when savouring this special Bourbon.” 

Knob Creek 9 Year Old is bottled with the following characteristics: 

Proof: 100 

Colour: Copper to medium amber 

Aroma: Toasted nuts, grain, oak, vanilla, caramel 

Taste: Rich, sweet, full-bodied; woody with dried fruit 

Finish: Long glowing mouth-watering finish 

Cocktail Suggestion: Perfect Manhattan

Ingredients: 

2 parts Knob Creek 9 Year Old 

½ part sweet vermouth 

½ part dry vermouth 

Dash of Fee BrothersTM Aromatic Bitters 

Maraschino cherry 

Method:  

  • Combine the Bourbon, vermouth and bitters in a mixing glass.
  • Swirl with ice to chill. 
  • Pour into a cocktail glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry. 

Knob Creek 9 Year Old will be available across Canada for $50 - $55 per 750ml bottle, market dependent.  

For more information about Knob Creek 9 Year Old and Knob Creek’s award-winning Bourbon and rye portfolios, please visit www.KnobCreek.com.

 
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After a long-awaited testing period, the launch of prototype ‘Absolut Paper’ is set to reset traditional perceptions around paper and board (P&B) packaging for spirits in the UK, writes GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company. This will be a plus for environmentally conscious consumers and the launch is likely to be successful due to the alignment with green trends. However, the production process will need to be made clear to show that the pack’s sustainability credentials are actually being met.

Holly Inglis, Beverages Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Although the use of P&B for spirits declined in Western Europe by 9.1% between 2019 and 2020* to one million units, sustainable production and eco-conscious consumption remain highly sought-after concepts to the modern-day consumer. Absolut’s packaging launch has challenged the status quo. It is unlike anything ever seen before in the UK’s alcoholic drinks market, and is likely to be successful as it is a clear attempt to align with green trends and will evoke a behavioral change among both producers and consumers.

“The volume declines over the last five years* were driven by the popularity of glass packaging, but this launch has the potential to alter current consumer perceptions of this packaging material.”

Further, according to GlobalData’s research, premium and super-premium priced spirits are expected to see volume growth in the UK at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.8% between 2020-2024***, highlighting that consumers are willing to indulge in quality over quantity. This has the potential to benefit premium spirits manufacturers, as well as presents a window of opportunity to consider a more sustainable packaging format.

Absolut Paper comprises 57% paper and 43% recycled plastic, emphasising Pernod Ricard’s commitment to enhancing its sustainability credentials. However, production process transparency will need to be addressed.

Inglis continues: “Currently, paper packaging requires a higher volume mass than glass or plastic alternatives to ensure the beverage is effectively preserved. This potentially equates to higher energy use even though the material is more environmentally friendly. Consumers are becoming more invested in sustainable production and are demanding transparent and environmentally friendly operations. GlobalData’s latest consumer survey highlighted, for example, that 36% of UK respondents now view recyclable or reusable packaging as a higher priority** in light of the COVID-19 pandemic."

 

 
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Following feedback from Manitobans and advice from public health leaders, the province is loosening a variety of restrictions while ensuring protocols are in place to protect Manitobans from the risks of COVID-19, Premier Brian Pallister and Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s chief provincial health officer, announced today.

“Today is another big day for Manitobans, especially for our local business owners who are eager to safely reopen their doors, and provide the goods and services that Manitobans have missed the past few months,” said Pallister. “With fewer restrictions, we must remain cautious, in fact, even more cautious. In the absence of COVID-19 vaccines from the federal government, following the fundamentals is how we continue to protect each other and save lives.”

The orders will formalize the following changes for all of Manitoba, replacing the General COVID-19 Prevention Orders made on Jan. 28 and the Northern Manitoba COVID-19 Prevention Orders made on Feb. 1, 2021. The orders will take effect at 12:01 a.m. on Feb. 12 and will last for three weeks.

The orders include the following changes, with further pandemic safety measures in place:

  • allowing restaurants and licensed premises to reopen at 25 per cent capacity with patron groups limited to members of the same household only*;
  •  allowing outdoor rinks to reopen for casual sports as well as organized practices and games, with multi-team tournaments not permitted;
  •  allowing gyms, fitness centres and yoga studios to reopen at 25 per cent capacity;
  •  allowing indoor sporting facilities such as rinks, gymnastic clubs and martial arts studios to reopen at 25 per cent capacity for individual instruction only;
  •  allowing places of worship to hold regular religious services if a service does not exceed 10 per cent of usual capacity or 50 people, whichever is lower;
  •  allowing self-help groups for persons dealing with addictions or other behaviours to hold meetings at 25 per cent capacity of the premise where meetings take place;
  • allowing museums, art galleries and libraries to operate at 25 per cent capacity;
  • allowing personal service businesses, such as those providing pedicures, electrolysis, cosmetic application, tanning, tattooing or massage services to reopen at 25 per cent capacity;
  • allowing photographers and videographers to offer services to individual clients or those residing in the same household in addition to providing services at weddings, with the exception of visiting client homes; and
  • allowing the film industry to operate fully with physical distancing and other safety measures in place.

“These new orders allow us to resume more activities and services we enjoy, but we cannot let our guard down yet,” said Roussin. “We will continue to carefully monitor COVID-19 developments and case numbers to ensure we protect each other and our health-care system. Manitobans need to continue to follow the fundamentals at all times including staying home when sick, frequent handwashing and wearing masks. We all have a part to play in keeping our COVID-19 curve down so we can continue making measured progress towards getting back to the things we love.”

The new orders also bring the entire province under the same restrictions, where the northern region had previously been under separate orders to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the region.

Under the new orders, northern Manitoba will see the changes listed above in addition to the restrictions in place over the last three weeks for the rest of the province including:

  • household visitor restrictions of up to two designated people,
  • visits of five people plus members of a household on an outdoor private property,
  • retail stores open at 25 per cent capacity or 250 people maximum with adequate physical distancing, and
  • non-regulated health services, hair salons and barbershops open with 25 per cent capacity and adequate physical distancing.

Since Feb. 4, over 33,000 responses were provided on the proposed changes to the orders. Feedback indicated:

  • 65 per cent of respondents felt somewhat or very comfortable going to restaurants;
  •  57 per cent of respondents felt somewhat or very comfortable going to the gym or to a yoga studio; and
  • opening food services was ranked the highest priority for respondents, followed by opening personal services like nail salons and tattoo parlors, allowing gyms to reopen for individual training and allowing outdoor organized outdoor sports to resume for games or practices.
 

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