The Negroni powers Campari interest

Gruppo Campari has attributed recent sales growth in Campari to a resurgence of the Negroni and other classic cocktails.

At the London launch of the Campari Calendar for 2015 yesterday, the group’s Julka Villa, senior director of global aperitifs, wines and cordial, told DI: “People around the world are now more open to cocktail culture. Bartenders are doing a great job challenging consumers to try new flavours.  

“The Negroni is growing fastest and the Americano is becoming more and more popular. The UK has great potential thanks to the Negroni. We are seeing 25-plus-year-olds showing interest."

Villa said the trend is more among big-city hipsters and added the Negroni is unlikely to ‘go mainstream’ because of its bitter taste profile. “You have to be ready for a cocktail like that,” she said.

Gruppo Campari’s registered 12.5% growth for H1 2014, and according to Villa, core markets, such as Italy and those in Latin America and central Europe are in good health.

In central Europe Campari sales are concentrated in the off-trade while in Mediterranean Europe they are more commonly derived from the on-trade, where “aperitif culture is still strong,” said Villa.

Aperitif drinking is also spreading in other markets, according to Campari. “More and more countries are picking up the aperitif culture,” said Villa.

Campari grew 37% in the Americas during H1 2015 and Argentina in particular, said Villa, has seen a trend towards classic cocktails and aperitifs.

Journalist and World’s 50 Best Bars Academy member Martin Auzmendi has seen the growth in Negronis first hand. “A couple of years it was the Old Fashioned. Before that the Manhattan. Now the Negroni is the new popular classic cocktail in Argentina," he said.