Diageo readies "not quite as sincere" Scotch whisky release
Speaking to journalists following a presentation in London earlier this week, the company's global head of innovation, Michael Ward, hinted that the new product will trade less on the traditional skews for Scotch, but still adhere to the definition restrictions for the segment.
“We're working on some pretty interesting things in Scotch right now,” Ward said on Wednesday. “I'll need to leave it as a bit of a foreshadow rather than get into anything specific.” When pressed, Ward said the new launch will be available in Latin America and will have the term 'Scotch whisky' on the packaging.
“There are things we can do - and we are doing with Johnnie Walker - that can be far more expansive than before,” he added. “We've been working on some stuff now that we'll be able to share in a little bit.”
In results for the 12 months to the end of June, released in late-July, Diageo saw sales of its Scotch brands fall by 5% in value terms, and by 4% in volumes. Reported net sales for the Scotch portfolio were down in the year by 9%.
“I believe Scotch will continue to grow, but it will grow differently to, say, American whiskey,” Ward said this week. “Innovation has a big role to play in that.”
“I think we've put Scotch on a bit of a pedestal, and we've asked consumers to aspire and work their way up to it,” Ward continued. “It can be far more versatile than that. We need to get younger consumers to relate to Scotch, in terms of occasions and price-points, for example.
“We're going to be introducing some Scotch products in Latin America that are not quite as sincere.”
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