Brandy Report (12/12): Brandy in travel retail

Similarly, Germany brandy Asbach also used the Cannes show last year to launch the limited-edition Asbach Freiheitsbrand 1989 – a rare 25-year-old vintage brandy, released to mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Presented in a special 70cl bottle, Asbach Freiheitsbrand means ‘freedom brandy’ in German and comes in a wooden gift box, which contains an original fragment of the Berlin Wall. 

Unlocking the gifting opportunity that travel retail represents is clearly a key challenge for leading brandy owners going forward. For instance, in 2013 Catalonia-based Torres produced an award-winning Torres Brandy Selection gift box in partnership with Barcelona design firm Savia for travel retail customers. It contained one test tube each of Torres 10 Year Old, 15 Year Old and 20 Year Old.   

“We’re focusing a lot more on spirits in travel retail,” says Miguel Torres international travel retail manager Violaine Creuzé. “We’ve just hired a new global spirits manager [Michael La Terriere] who was previously at William Grant. 

“We need to push our brandies more at the airports because the focus there is on cognac and armagnac, but it is tough for the Spanish brand category,” she adds. 

Tough, yes – but, as we’ve seen, not impossible. And as major airport retail offers become more regionalised to differ themselves from their international competitors, it’s likely that there will be more scope for smaller brandies to gain entry to a potentially lucrative market sector.