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SPECIAL REPORT: TFWA Cannes show preview

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the TFWA World Exhibition & Conference which takes place October 26-31 in the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, Cannes, on the French Riviera.

In 2013, more than 6,300 trade delegates attended the event, over two-thirds of them key buyers from airports, airlines, ferries, cruiseships and downtown duty free shops all over the world. This year, almost a quarter of the exhibitors (97) are wine and spirits companies, and here we have highlighted just some of the many new products and travel retail exclusives they will be showing. 

The annual duty free & travel retail global summit kicks off on the Monday morning, October 27 with what promises to be a rousing conference address by former US Secretary of State Colin Powell. Among other subjects, he will address issues related to leadership in challenging times. Joining him on stage will be Andrea Guerra, director and CEO of Luxottica Group and Air France-KLM chairman and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.

Erik Juul-Mortensen, president TFWA, will open the conference with his ‘State of the Industry’ address in which he will set the scene by summarising three decades of development of the duty free and travel retail industry, reviewing the last year in more detail and looking forward to opportunities and challenges in the months and years to come.

Two workshop sessions will follow on the Tuesday and Wednesday mornings: the first a Market Watch session focusing on Latin America and the second devoted to the inflight retail sector. Both will feature industry leaders and experts in the field. The threat posed by the influx of counterfeit goods to the luxury goods market is also on the agenda of a special working lunch to encourage debate among suppliers, retailers and landlords on ‘Counterfeit - a Real Threat to our Industry’. This is being held in the Salon Croisette, Majestic Hotel on Tuesday 28th 12:30-14:00 .

“Estimates from OECD value the global counterfeit market at between USD 600 billion and US$700bn per year, and we know that the counterfeit goods market is a huge problem for premium brands, many of whom are members of TFWA,” comments Erik.  “Although our industry is successful in ensuring that goods offered in duty free and travel retail outlets are sourced from genuine suppliers, the threat of fakes is always present and indeed growing as miscreants become ever more inventive.”

Hosted by TFWA in partnership with French manufacturers’ association Unifab, the high-level panel of speakers taking part in this session includes Bob Barchiesi, president of US anti-counterfeit association IACC, Emmanuelle Hoffman, lawyer at Cabinet Hoffman and VP of UNIFAB, Philippe Lacoste, VP of UNIFAB and Nestor Martinez-Aguado, who is responsible for intellectual property at the French Foreign Ministry.

To confirm attendance delegates should contact immediately.

Exhibitor news

Barton & Guestier will be presenting new wines and exclusive packaging for travel retail (Yellow Village, D42). Founded in Bordeaux in 1725 by the Irishman Thomas Barton, Barton & Guestier has developed a premium brand strategy based on AOC and varietal wines from the main French wine growing regions, all suitably packaged for travel retail.

For example, Les Charmes de Magnol AOC Médoc now comes in a new and elegant gift canister featuring an illustrated skyline of some of the world’s most famous towers, bridges and other symbols. While the high-end Thomas Barton Réserve Privée 2010 Médoc AOC is available in a luxury leather gift pack.

Bistro Girls Night Out is the newcomer in the Bistro range – the Bistro in France being the place where girls get together to have a drink and chat before going out to dance. This red blend, juicyand slightly oaked wine is classified Vin de France and consists of 80% Merlot, 10% Shiraz and 10% Grenache.

Château Barrail Laussac is a Bordeaux AOC with a modern and elegant label that keeps the traditional label shape of the historical B&G Bordeaux wines. A new shiny red and gold capsule branded Barton & Guestier completes the wine’s new packaging. This AOC Bordeaux wine is made of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Franc. 

Schlumberger – Austria’s oldest wine producer – offers a  range of premium sparkling wines. Schlumberger divides its international assortment into the Classic Line with sparkling brut and rosé and the Fashion Line with gold, white secco and a newly released rosé secco. While the Classic Line meets the classical champagne lover’s tastes, the Fashion Line varieties reach a younger target group’s preference by offering dry but fruity varieties in trendy, sleeved bottles. With their eye-catching packaging the three varieties catch the attention of young, but sophisticated customers. (Underberg - Red Village, K19).  

The French Houses of Camus (Blue Village, F11) and Ginestet will highlight a Collection Particulière by Vinissimes, comprising three Bordeaux wine appellations – Bordeaux, Puisseguin-Saint-Emilion and Medoc. The concept and packaging was developed to create a unique gift exclusively available in travel retail - for amateur and expert wine lovers alike.

Presented in exclusive engraved bottles and gift cartons, each piece in the Collection Particulière has been carefully chosen to illustrate the true potential of the whole Bordeaux wine appellation: a tribute to the prestige of its rich soils, the traditions and the craftsmanship associated with French winemaking (read the full report).

At the vanguard of super-premium wines in the South of France, based at Château l'Hospitalet near Narbonne, Gérard Bertrand will be present at Cannes (Red Village, K11) with a selection of wines representing the peak of of quality in the region, some of which are already available in the sector through travel retail partners such as Aelia, Le Clos Dubai International Airport, Oceania Cruises and Nuance Toulouse airport. The company's strategy is to grow the knowledge and uptake of super-premium South of France wines in the duty free sector, with a key business objective of focusing on its Estates wines, which are widely recognised as benchmark estates in each of their own terroirs.

Visitors to the stand will be able to sample wines from Domaine de Villemajou, located in the Boutenac terroir, one the few recognised Crus of the Languedoc-Roussillon. Wines from properties undergoing biodynamic conversion include Cigalus and Château La Sauvageonne, the latter located on an exceptional volcanic terroir at 300m altitude in the Terrasses du Larzac. The wines of the Château l’Hospitalet property itself, which were served exclusively at the 2013 Nobel Prize Ceremony, will also be on show, along with the Domaine de l'Aigle Limoux Chardonnay, selected to be served at this year's TFWA Inauguration Dinner.

South Africa-based import/export specialist Diverse Flavours (Red Village, L34) will be representing South African wine producers looking to develop their brands in duty free markets. Dating back to 1658, Groot Constantia is South Africa's oldest winery, having originally achieved worldwide renown with its Constantia sweet wines, and today it remains one of the 'Big 6' major tourist destinations in the Cape. On the Diverse Flavours stand will be six Groot Constantia wines to taste: the Gouverneurs Reserve Red; Pinotage; Shiraz; Sauvignon Blanc; Blanc de Noir; and Grand Constance Dessert wine.

Also available on the Diverse Flavours stand will be wines from the Ernie Els range, which can already found in duty free shops at Dubai, Bangkok, Singapore, Jakarta, Incheon, and Taiwan airports, as well as inflight on Asiana. From the champion golfer's range, the company will be showing the Ernie Els Signature red; Proprietor's Blend; Proprietor's Syrah; Big Easy red and white; and varieals Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. In addition, visitors will be able to sample wines from Ghost Corner, South Africa's most southerly winery, including varietal Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Wild Ferment Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir wines, as well as The Bowline Semillon/ Sauvignon Blanc blend.

Symington Family Estates (Red Village, L32) will once again be presenting its portfolio of renowned port brands, including Cockburn’s, Dow’s, Graham’s and Warre’s. Already present in 96 countries worldwide, Symington's goal is to be perceived as the best partner in the Fortified category for Travel Retail operators, offering its range of premium, super-premium and luxury ports with the flexibility of catering to different consumer segments in a varied range of shopping consumption occasions, covering different price points, gifting opportunities and product benefits.

On show will be a very special recent release from Symington, the Graham's Ne Oublie Very Old Tawny port – a release of only 656 individually numbered bottles of the wine that marks the arrival of the first Symington, Andrew James, in Portugal in 1882 to work at Graham's. One of only three remaining casks of the port – now more than 130 years old – was bottled, utilising the skills of craftsmen in Portugal, England and Scotland (representing the family's own heritage) in the manufacture of the decanter (glass manufacturer Atlantis, Portugal), the engraved sterling silver bands and neck collar (Scottish silversmiths Hayward & Stott) and the handcrafted presentation box (luxury leather goods specialist Smythson of Bond Street).

Available at €5,500.00 through selected fine wine merchants around the world and via an application list, the contents of the decanter are indeed of very rare and extraordinary quality. The wine itself has been described by John Stimpfig in the Financial Times as "virtually immortal".

Drambuie (Green Village, L64), the Scotch whisky blended with spices and heather honey, will be previewing its first limited edition bottle (read the full report), a global travel exclusive, ahead of the Christmas period. 

The 1-litre bottle has a full shrink sleeve featuring a striking black and white zig-zag design, which will appear in major airports around the world, with an exclusive release in the UK, Spain, Asia and Switzerland in October. The design takes influence from Drambuie’s surreal marketing campaign, illustrating an infinite, moonlit, monochrome bottle with an amber liquor encased inside.

Ian Macleod Distillers (Red Village, L7) will be launching its latest Islay Single Malt travel retail exclusive, Smokehead Rock Special Edition. Bottled at 44.2% abv, the new Rock Edition is, as ever, a full-on, intense, peaty-seaweedy-iodine celebration of Smokehead's typical Islay credentials as the "rock n’ roll spirit of choice"; designed to please its cult followers, and not for the faint-hearted. Like the original award-winning Smokehead packaging, the travel retail exclusive Rock Edition maximises its impact using embossed and debossed techniques to heighten the 3-D ‘reality’ of the skull design and create a premium tactile feel. The main Smokehead branding is also embossed, while a square letterpress block motif on the rear of the tin, reflecting the bottle label design is joined by a full flavour descriptor that also highlights Smokehead’s connection with rock music. Andy Lane, travel retail director for Ian Macleod Distillers, says the presentation tin "reaffirms the brand’s unique position within the Single Malt category".

The famous Black Bottle blend of single malt and grain whiskies is living up to its name after bringing back its distinctive black bottle after a break of a century (read the report). In keeping with the history of the Aberdeen original, the recipe has also been revised to bring the contents more in line with its 1879 north-eastern roots. The new bottle's retro-expression won the World's Best Relaunch Award at this year's World Whisky Design Awards. In November, a 1-litre format is being introduced as an exclusive to travel retail (Distell – Green Village, H44).

Nemiroff, one of the best-selling international vodka brands by sales volumes travel retail and among the best-selling imported vodka brands, will be introducing Spicy Strawberry. This new flavoured vodka has been gaining recognition internationally since its launch in November 2013 in Russia. The unique blend of strawberries and red hot peppers creates an unexpected ‘bright’ flavour with a warm aftertaste. RRP US$13/1L bottle. Nemiroff has also restyled and refreshed its gift set line and is launching another three sets with a stylish decanter – Nemiroff Original 0.7l, Nemiroff Delikat 0.7l and Nemiroff Honey Pepper 0.7l. (Blue Village, G1). 

Patrón Spirits (Green Village, H36) will unveil Roca Patrón, the company’s first line of tequilas produced entirely from the labour-intensive, centuries-old tahona process.
Crafted from only the highest-quality 100% Weber Blue Agave, each tequila in the new Roca Patrón family – Roca Patrón Silver, Roca Patrón Reposado, and Roca Patrón Añejo – is traditionally handcrafted at a specific proof, higher than the core line of Patrón tequilas, to create the perfect balance of flavours. Travel retail is the only international market where Roca Patrón will be available this year and the TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes marks the first time the brand has been showcased outside the US (where it was first introduced earlier this Summer – read the report).

In 2015 the Underberg gift tin series 'culinary trip around the world' is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Since its launch in 2005, which featured an Italian theme, the Underberg gift tin each year has showcased designs and culinary tastes from a specific country. The new 2015 edition is dedicated to one country: the Netherlands. The Netherlands offers many more unique highlights than ‘simply’ tulips, windmills and the famous Dutch 'Gouda' cheese, which are all included in the four different Dutch city themes featured on the four panels of the tin (see full report images). Filled with 12 portion bottles of the classical German digestif Underberg, the 2015 limited edition gift tin is a collectors’ item and an ideal gift. (Underberg - Red Village, K19).

The rum called The Kraken is named after a sea beast of myth and legend. The Kraken is a 94% proof Caribbean black spiced rum distilled in Trinidad and Tobago and blended with over 13 spices. The colour takes its hue from the black ink that, according to legend, the Kraken, a squid of epic proportions, covered its prey. The proprietary bottle is a replica of a Victorian rum bottle featuring two handles for easy portability and on the label a giant squid.  RRP in Europe €24.50 for a 1-litre bottle

Boodles Gin, a long-established premium London Dry gin produced by G&J Greenall’s in Warrington, UK, is, 40%abv and has a RRP of €18 Euros for a 70cl bottle. The gin is distilled in a traditional Carter Head copper pot still, which allows the alcohol to evaporate at a lower temperature. The vapour passes through a basket holding nine botanicals to infuse a delicate flavour into the spirit. The gin’s stylish square bottle takes its inspiration from the original Boodles bottle, which shared its classic, clean lined shape. With a silver screw cap and heavily embossed sides, the bottle is finished with the royal blue label, which proudly displays the Boodles Gin name in crisp white. Boodles Gin is available at a RRP of 18 Euros for a 70cl bottle (price guideline for Europe).

Rémy Cointreau Global Travel Retail (Marine Village Foyer 1A) will reveal a new limited edition duty free exclusive full sleeve label design for Russian Standard Vodka. This is the second in the company’s series celebrating classic Russian craft. The filigree pattern on the sleeve represents the artistic heritage of the baroque city St Petersburg, the ‘Venice of the North’ and the home of Russian Standard. It will reach outlets in November and be priced in line with Russian Standard Original.

Following its successful attendance at TFWA Singapore in May this year, Armagnac Janneau (Green Village, K62) will be exhibiting for the second time in Cannes. The company, Armagnac's largest producer, will be presenting its all-new luxurious and contemporary packaging and a new company logo complete with new "more assertive and memorable" graphic design.

Janneau is one of Armagnac's original innovators, having introduced the pot still distillation method to the region in 1972. Following its groundbreaking recent introduction of limited edition Armagnacs under the name Dragon Vintages, at Cannes this year the company will be presenting a very rare 50 year-old 1964 vintage Armagnac, Golden Age.

As well as being one of the biggest exporters in the region, Janneau is the leading Armagnac in travel retail in Western and Eastern Europe, Russia and the Gulf, and is also expanding rapidly in the Asia Pacific markets.

MacDuff International (Green Village L56) will present two new products: an addition to its historic Grand Macnish range of Scotch whiskies and Lauder’s Ruby Cask Finish, the second addition to the Lauder’s Art of Blending range, which marries Lauder’s Scotch Whisky with a variety of complimentary casks.

Grand Macnish 6 Cask Edition is a blended malt whisky which combines malts from the six different whisky producing regions of Scotland – Highland, Speyside, Islay, Campbeltown, Lowland & Islands, giving a taste of “Scotland in a Bottle”.This edition of Grand Macnish maintains the traditional balance of the blend as well as the signature 6-pinch bottle, which has changed little in over 100 years. Each bottle will come with a neckhanger booklet, explaining the typical characteristics of each of the regions.

The new Lauder’s port edition is presented in the traditional Lauder’s 4-pinch bottle with a high quality gift carton with a  leather texture and featuring the image of a port wine cellar.  The whisky has a slightly reddish hue which it has taken from its time maturing in seasoned Ruby Port casks. The malt and grain whiskies that make up the blend are initially aged in charred bourbon casks. These individual whiskies are then combined to form the blend, and then returned, for a second time, to mature further in Ruby Port casks. The resulting whisky combines the recognisable Lauder’s traditional sweetness and smoothness with a long finish bringing in fruity red wine hints from the port casks. This new item is available in 70cl and litre size, for both domestic and travel retail markets.

The SPI Group will be introducing its new Stolichnaya Premium Vodka Night Edition, the second in a range designed to target night-life. The frosted glass bottle has night-life-inspired design elements printed using temperature activated inks which ‘come to life’ when chilled – all will be revealed on the TFWA stand (Blue Village, D3).

The premium Danish vodka Danzka is launching its first new flavour in a decade. “Danzka Apple is not a flavour that was developed because we had to come up with something new; it was developed because we see a real request for apple. We are going to the root of basic but delicious flavours,” says Rudiger Behn, MD, Waldemar Behn. Danzka Apple in the brand’s distinctive aluminum bottle modelled on the classic cocktail shaker will be ready to ship after its global launch in Cannes to be on shelves by January 1, 2015. (Green Village H52).

When Amarula, arguably South Africa's most famous beverage export brand, launched its first new product in 25 years, expectations were high. Brand owner, Distell was understandably optimistic about its exciting innovation. Conceived and created by some of the top talent in the business, it was a bold stylistic departure with a very original taste. But even the most seasoned observers were taken by surprise. Amarula Gold is a clear, golden-coloured 30% ABV spirit made from the wild-harvested fruit of the marula tree that grows on the Savannah plains of sub-equatorial Africa. Initially exclusively on sale in South Africa and a carefully chosen selection of duty-free markets worldwide, it has exceeded even the most optimistic projections since its launch in March this year (read the report).

"Amarula Cream is globally a very popular product. It is the second biggest cream liqueur worldwide, one of Impact Databank's top 100 premium spirit brands and one of the most frequently purchased spirit items in travel retail, "says Robyn Bradshaw, the marketing head of Distell's travel retail operation. "Given Amarula's brand pull, we were anticipating widespread interest in Amarula Gold but nowhere near the levels we've seen.”

Amarula Gold comes dressed in a clear version of the trademark Amarula bottle to show off the spirit's gleaming gold colour and sports a black version of the neck tassel, threaded and braided by hand, as part of a job creation programme for marginalised rural women. (Underberg – Red Village, K19).

The TFWA World Exhibition & Conference 2014 promises to be an extra-special event with celebrations laid on to mark the 30th anniversary of the foundation of Tax Free World Association in 1984, which led to the first event organised by the industry for the industry in Nice in October 1985. The event will continue to be staged in the Cannes Palais des Festivals for at least the next three years, but from 2016 the event will move to the first week of October.

The dates for 2015-2017 are October 19-23 in 2015, October 3-7 in 2016 and October 2-6 in 2017.

26 September 2014 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor