Chivas Brothers launches new malts in major Glenlivet drive

DISTILLERS Chivas Brothers will next week launch two products aimed exclusively at the travel retail market as part of a long-term strategy to establish its The Glenlivet brand as the world’s biggest selling single malt.

The new malts will be called Ndurra - Gaelic for "natural" - and The Glenlivet 12-year-old First Fill and will go on sale initially under an exclusive deal with the UK airport retailer World Duty Free at Heathrow’s Terminal 4. The move is part of a relaunch of The Glenlivet with new packaging, brand identity and advertising as part of a phased plan to grow the single malt internationally at twice the market rate over five years.

According to Chivas, part of the Pernod Ricard group, The Glenlivet, which is second only to William Grant’s Glenfiddich malt in terms of world sales, saw sales in 2004 rise 9 per cent to over 400,000 cases. This significantly out-performed the market and drove the brand closer to its medium-term target of 500,000 cases a year. Robin Johnston, Chivas Brothers’ travel retail regional director, said choosing the travel sector for the launches was deliberate. He said: "The travel retail channel saw excellent growth for The Glenlivet in 2004 and constitutes a strategic channel for the brand as single malts represent more than twice the proportion of total scotch volume sales found in domestic markets."

The Glenlivet 12-year-old First Fill will complement the already successful 15-year-old line with both aimed mainly at the intra-European Union duty-paid travel retail market. The Ndurra, an entirely new product, will be targeted mainly at North American and North European travellers.

The Ndurra is a 16-year-old, non-chill filtered and matured in first fill ex-bourbon casks. Jim Cryle, The Glenlivet’s master distiller’ described it as "a smooth and fruity Speyside single malt with a finish of considerable length and complexity. It has all the elements to become an instant classic."

The new range’s packaging and identity was developed by Landor Associates as part of the relaunch campaign already running in the United States, the UK and Australia.

Next week’s travel retail launch will be followed buy further drives in Asia and will see Chivas Brothers increase its marketing spend for the brand by 50 per cent over the next two years.

The Glenlivet is already the leading malt in the US and the group is keen to develop its existing footholds in emerging new markets, including China, Brazil, India and Russia.

Latest available figures for the total value of scotch whisky exports released by The Scotch Whisky Association show it rising by 20 million to 982m in the first six months of 2004.

It said the largest export market continued to be the US, with the value of exports there rising 2 per cent overall to 142m, as a result of heightened American interest in single malts, sales of which were up 30 per cent to 40m.

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