The global beverage market has changed a great deal in recent years. Products have changed – for example, vodka used to be very successful in the past but is now experiencing a slow down. At the same time, there are products that are undergoing an exponential growth curve in sales. Examples of these include gin and tequila, and some other products that have reached record sales while threatened by huge taxes, just as Cognac with the Trump administration.
Whisky and Bourbon are going very well. Some experts have declared the latter could be the spirit to see a major up turn in the coming year.
All these statistics are directly affected by millennials’ preference for craft distilleries and for their type of consumption in general.
So far, you could say that there’s a global desire to consume alcohol and spirits in a different way than in the past, particularly for western consumers. They prefer well-made products, with good-quality raw materials and made in a traditional or pseudo-traditional way.
Today, craft distilleries have managed to profit from market-share that until now was occupied by the giants of the beverage world. This trend has forced everyone, big and small, to rethink not only their products, but also and more importantly, their packaging.
Now more than ever, packaging needs to be able to communicate a product’s quality and authenticity.In the spirits market, especially, there has been an ever more marked focus on the choice of closure. This has moved from being an almost unnoticed feature to becoming a genuine decorative accessory, an integral part of packaging and increasingly faithful to the brand’s values.
The use of packaging – and closures – as a genuine communication tool is a trend that’s more or less consistent across the globe. And to meet this new demand, we, at Tapì, are moving forwards on a number of fronts.
For example, Mexico and the United States are highly strategic markets for us. Tequila has experienced huge growth in recent years and there’s great potential in the mezcal world as well.
The US is strategic for different reasons. One of these is the success of Bourbon and craft distilleries, as mentioned earlier, since it’s important to be promptwith deliveries and reactive with local services when supplying this type of business.
France remains a key country for our business, due to Cognac, which is a highly significant product for us, considering the Group’s revenue and its positioning towards this specific niche market. However, we can also rely on some excellent results from other products, such as French whisky, gin, rum, vodka and other spirits, but also from products in the perfume, cosmetic, condiments and soon artisan beer industries.
Another strategic market for the Group is Scotland, of course. It offers enormous development potential for the whole company. Alongside this we continue to work with some traditional markets, such as Italy, Germany, Spain, Great Britain, as well as Central and South America, where we are attentively watching the possible boom on premium and super premium cachaça.
In recent years, we have noticed that East Asia and India are seeing growth in terms of spirits production, which explains our push to find potential new customers in this territory.
Think globally, act locally.
This is what our customers are increasingly demanding of us and the slogan could be used to encapsulate my role as Global Strategic Account Manager.
Being global and offering a robust contingency plan is required, but at the same time a local service is also necessary, suited to the various details of the different markets.
My work implies a certain ability to negotiate with contacts worldwide without overlooking or “offending” local contacts who are key both as purchasers and in packaging development. This entails diplomacy in my relationships with customers and adopting different ways of working.
For example, I would say I need to work across time zones, considering where my customers live and, I need to travel often. It’s useful to know how to communicate in various languages, other than in my native language, French. Obviously English and also Italian are useful for internal communications and with some key customers, as well as Spanish for the same reasons. And no less important is the need to know how to work in a team and the ability to meet round a table in different company departments, such as General Management, Sales, Marketing, Purchasing, R&D, Production, Quality, Administrationand so on.
You can’t bring in a deal for 80 million closures without working as a team. It’s impossible. And it’s perhaps the most interesting part of this new role.
I’m lucky to work with fantastic colleagues, who have incredible skills. I’m convinced that great success is even more enjoyable when it’s done through teamwork.
This article appears in our printed magazine, TapInk.