Brockmans “shakes up” priorities to focus on travel retail with JP Aucher

By Faye Bartle |

Brockmans.

Pierpaolo Indelicato, VP International at Brockmans.

Super premium gin brand Brockmans is looking to layer up on its strong footprint on the domestic markets by mining the brand’s untapped potential in travel retail, with the help of its channel partner Jean-Philippe (JP) Aucher.

Currently, the company’s market share of the super premium gin segment in duty free in Europe is less than 1% versus 6% on the domestic markets. 

“Our missing piece is duty free,” said Pierpaolo Indelicato, VP International at Brockmans when we sat down with him at a Brockmans press conference and cocktail on 4 October at La Mandala during the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference in Cannes. “It simply has not been a priority, but now we have shaken up those priorities.”

The company has a fantastic foundation from which to build upon. Around 1 million bottles a year are sold in more than 55 markets worldwide.

It’s the largest independent British super premium gin globally, and one of the top three super premium gin brands in Europe.

It’s big in Germany and Spain in particular, with Italy, Belgium, Austria, France and Australia also key markets. 

“We are also strong in Canada and the US and we are expanding our footprint in South America and Asia,” added Indelicato.

Brockmans has historically outgrown the category and the super premium gin segment with a 2012-21 compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of +24%, according to the company, backed by a solid investment in marketing (to the value of GBP25 million/around US$23.8 million). Sales have grown 10-fold since 2019 alone.

Brockmans in Cannes

Left: JP Aucher reveals the vision for the brand in TR during the Brockmans press conference in Cannes. Right: Mixing up a Brockmans gin cocktail.

Brockmans appointed JP Aucher back in May, as previously reported, and the wheels are in motion to level up the brand’s presence in the channel.

“Brockmans is not just any brand,” said JP Aucher, referencing its position across Europe and highlighting the key markets of the UK and Spain. “But there is not yet one single bottle in any airport in these two countries.”

Leveraging the ‘3D effect’ of Brockmans

Aucher underlines how 2022 is a “transition year” for the travel retail industry with 2023 set to be “very active” with many stakeholders anticipating “reaching their 2019 benchmark earlier than expected”. 

Brockmans is an avant-garde twist on classic English gin, blending traditional and non-traditional gin botanicals, such as blueberries and blackberries.

“My duty and objective is to be present with Brockmans everywhere, starting with a big lighthouses that are the UK and Spanish airports and key retailers,” said Aucher.

“It’s not an easy task, but I think what is great about the brand is that it’s very different, which is what is needed in order to be successful.

“The category has exploded over the past few years. Pre-covid, Heinemann and Dufry had around 70-80 SKUs in the gin category – something we couldn’t have imagined 10 years ago.

“Now retailers are opening up again and we need to be there. Brockmans, as a package, has the ‘3D effect’ that is needed to grow further: it’s different, distinctive and disruptive. The future looks bright.”

The brand is investing £6m+ in advertising and promotion in 2022 and is planning to fund activations to drive its visibility in the channel.

Described as being ‘so smooth you can drink it over ice’, as well as enjoyed in a variety of cocktails, the ‘properly improper gin’ is a London Dry with a focus on dark berries with juniper at the base. This is reflected in the design of the bottle, as well as on label.

Travel retail has always been on the back burner for one reason or another but we truly believe there is an opportunity to replicate our growth on the domestic markets in the channel,” said Indelicato. “We are talking with the big players and with new listings the next step will be making an investment to activate it with liquid on lips [sampling].

“Globally, gin is tipped by IWSR for double-digit growth over the next year. The rate of growth will still be strong in Europe – probably in the high single digits – but for Latin America and Asia we are looking at double digits.”

Just last month, Brockmans gin appointed Premium Brands Group (PBG) Panama as logistics and commercial partner for both domestic and travel retail markets in the Central & South America region.

“Through the partnership with PBG, we will be able to increase our commercial and marketing support to existing distributor partners, expand our market reach in both domestic and travel retail and open new and high potential markets like Brazil,” said Indelicato.

“At PBG we pride ourselves on building meaningful and effective working relationships, understanding both the needs of the marketplace and our brand partners,” added PBG owner Alberto Gutman.

“Our success is evident from the portfolio of brands we have established over the years. We are more than delighted to partner with Brockmans Gin to add newness, originality and super-premium quality to our offer. It’s a highly distinctive gin which, we are confident, will do extremely well both domestically and in travel retail.”

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