TRBusiness Summit Shorts: Maker’s Mark on pursuit of ‘liquid innovation’

By Luke Barras-hill |

Ashish Gandham, Managing Director Global Travel Retail, spoke about the need to ramp up what has been historically an “under-indexed” presence in Americas travel retail.

The top 15 airport retail locations globally and the cruise channel have been identified as key strategic plays for Maker’s Mark, according to parent company Beam Suntory Global Travel Retail*.

Speaking in the latest TRBusiness ‘Summit Shorts’, produced in partnership with Bluedog Group and filmed on location at the Summit of the Americas in Florida last month, Global Travel Retail Managing Director Ashish Gandham emphasises a mission to tap into the brand-building opportunity for the Kentucky bourbon maker.

“Maker’s Mark is an important part of our portfolio but we haven’t done justice when it comes to the scale of our presence that we’ve brought together in travel retail.

“Consumer trends indicate American whiskey is growing, but they are looking for craft bourbons, brands that have a credible history, provenance and amazingly tasting liquid. The product has to be the hero.

“The innovation pipeline on Maker’s is quite robust and we believe that travel retail presents a vital opportunity to showcase the power of Maker’s as a brand and what we can offer to the consumer.”

During a quick-fire video filmed on stand (2D), Gandham commented on the need to distinguish a portfolio of brands to offer consumers a reason to engage and interact at the moment of choice through their credible stories, innovation and effective price and category positioning.

In the case of Maker’s Mark, the small-batch, handcrafted bourbon from Loretto, Kentucky, the location-based Wood Finishing series launched in New York, Sydney, Singapore, Dubai, and more recently London, has proven to be a hit with international travellers.

Elsewhere, Gandham spoke about innovation cascading through the company’s broader portfolio – from Japanese whisky to white spirits such as Roku Gin, and Scotch, with more to come from the likes of Bowmore expected towards the end of this year.

Maker's Mark

The London Edition, the latest expression in the Maker’s Mark Wood Finishing Series, came to life via an experiential activation at London Heathrow Terminal 5 earlier this year.

*Video filmed prior to the company’s rebranding to Suntory Global Spirits. You can read the full story by clicking here.

To watch more TRBusiness ‘Summit Shorts’ and access articles from the Summit of the Americas, 14-17 April, see below.

READ MORE: Otis McAllister on TRBusiness Summit Shorts

READ MORE: Summit of the Americas attracts 1,207 registered delegates over two full days

READ MORE: IAADFS evolves; Americas summit to move to Miami

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