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TFWA Cannes – Day 1 in Short

Data and sustainability remain the buzz words as 2019's TFWA Cannes exhibition gets underway

Sam Coyne The Drinks Report

Under the Mediterranean sun, the TFWA Cannes exhibition has an odd feeling of both drawing the year to a close and welcoming in the next. In some ways it feels like the year's last gathering of friends in the travel retail sector and also the ushering in of new products and activations to come. 

This year's opening conference got the show underway with keynote speaker for the year being former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Blair continues to speak about global affairs and explained some of the geopolitical challenges that players in GTR face. Minus-points if you had to ask yourself whether this included Brexit. You can find out more about the opening conference here.

Away from the opening presentation, notable events on Day One were held by a number of producers, including Bacardi GTR, who with the help of esteemed master distiller Stephanie Macleod encouraged delagates through a tasting of the Dewar's whisky portfolio, including a nod towards next year with a flight of revamped Royal Brackla single malts. With some excellent and in some ways unusual (read intriguing) use of sherry-finishing, that range is one to keep an eye out for in mid-2020.

William Grant & Sons announced the roll out of a new expression of its Hendricks gin, Amazzoni, while sticking with the juniper-spirit, Ian Macleod Distillery announced the launch of a full-strength Raspberry gin, to complement the recent launches of Lemon and Jasmine, Watermelon and Lime, and Rhubarb and Ginger. At the same time, following a showcase in TFWA Asia Pacific, Ian Macleod also announced the launch of Smokehead Rum Riot, an Islay whisky finished in Caribbean rum casks. You can find out more about these releases on our home page soon.

It has become somewhat a tradition for the first day at TFWA Cannes to conclude with Pernod Ricard playing host to a panel discussion and this year was no different. Drinks-personality Neil Ridley played host to the evening's event which kicked off with the launch of a new expression of Royal Salute. Captured in the iconic porcelain flagon that the brand is famous for, the liquid is 25-years-old and said to be inspired by the Crown Jewels. 

The panel discussion consisted of Alexandre Ricard, CEO Pernod Ricard, Mohit Lal, CEO Pernod Ricard GTR, Carlolyn Childs, CEO My Travel Research and Mirko Wang, CEO of Jessica's Secret. Discussion was varying, but key points included the value put on the GTR market by the producer —"It's one of four must-win markets for Pernod Ricard, alongside the USA, India and China", says Alexandre Ricard — and the role of data in the sector — "The data is out there, for sure, we're just not using it to its best potential yet", Mohit Lal

We'll have a full round-up of the Pernod Ricard showcase on The Drinks Report soon.

Day Two is notoriously the busiest day of the show, and we'll look to bring more news on releases and industry insight. In the meanwhile, it's time to finally sit down for a bit!

30 September 2019