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Chivas Brothers launches global campaign

Chivas Brothers has launched a global campaign to advocate to consumers the importance and value of Scotch whisky age statements.

According to research commissioned by Chivas Brothers, 94% of consumers believe the age statement serves as an indicator of quality, 93% believe that older whiskies are better quality and 89% actively look for an age statement when making a decision to purchase.

However, there is a global lack of knowledge about what the age statement actually means: only 10% understand that it refers to the youngest whisky in the bottle, nearly half (48%) believe an age statement refers to the average age and 35% believe it signifies the oldest whisky present.  The Scotch Whisky Regulations (2009) make clear what an age statement means – the age of the youngest whisky in the bottle.

Chivas Brothers is responding with a campaign called The Age Matters, which will manifest itself through stand-alone activity as well as through integration across the company’s aged whisky portfolio, which includes Ballantine’s, Chivas Regal, The Glenlivet and Royal Salute brands.

The aim of the campaign is to enable consumers to understand fully the age statement and to appreciate the value of the premium product they are purchasing.

One of the greatest influences on the flavour of whisky comes from maturation. Much of the complexity of Scotch whisky comes mainly from its time in oak casks in Scotland; with outstanding spirit and excellent wood management, it follows that the longer the maturation period, the more complex the whisky.

From 1 July 2010, consumers will be encouraged to look for age statements on Scotch whisky, via point-of-sale materials, advertising and public relations.  A logo using the language Guaranteed Age Whisky has been created for use in retail, and will be visible in the environment of Chivas Brothers brands that carry an age statement. 

Christian Porta, chairman and CEO of Chivas Brothers says: “The revelation that so many existing whisky drinkers do not understand that the age statement refers to the youngest age of the whisky shows that there is an opportunity for us to inform them.

“In an age when consumers of luxury goods increasingly demand transparency and authenticity from brands, it is vital that we empower consumers with knowledge, so that they fully understand the value of what they are buying.”


About the research
The research was commissioned by Chivas Brothers Limited and conducted by an independent market research agency, Buzzback, between 3 June 2010 and 9 June 2010.

The sample consisted of more than 2,000 respondents in nine countries each evaluating a set of statements. All respondents were male and aged 21+ (or 25+ in India).   All have purchased whisky in the past month.  Countries: France, the UK, the US, India, Korea, Russia, Mexico, China, Brazil.  Additional findings included:

• 94% of consumers believe that age is an important indicator of quality
• 93% believe that older whiskies are better quality
• 92% prefer to buy whisky with a clear age statement
• 97% agreed that whiskies that claim to be aged should clearly state the age on the bottle
• 89% look for an age statement when buying whisky
• 86% expect to pay a price premium for whiskies with an age statement

About Chivas Brothers
Chivas Brothers is the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard – the world’s co-leader in wine and spirits.  Chivas Brothers is the global leader in luxury Scotch whisky and premium gin. Its portfolio includes Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s, Beefeater Gin, The Glenlivet, Royal Salute, Aberlour, Plymouth Gin, Longmorn, Scapa, 100 Pipers, Clan Campbell, Something Special and Passport.

Christian Porta, chairman and CEO of Chivas Brothers

1 July 2010 - Felicity Murray