The Booze Bin

How To Enjoy Craft Cider – Infographic

In our last blog post about craft cider, we shed light on the basics (Craft Cider 101). This fall, I challenge you to look over the rim of your tasting glass and experiment with artisan hard cider in cocktails and at dinner parties. For inspiration, visit one of fall’s many cider events, like Cider Week Virginia and New York.

As versatile as wine and beer, craft cider can hold its own on tasting menus and in cocktail glasses – shaken or stirred. Even better: Cider bars across the country are finally becoming a staple of America’s drink culture.

Here’s how and where to enjoy craft cider this season! Cheers.

14-PCRT-Cider-Infographic

Download the full infographic here.  

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Wine, Food & Nutrition

Keep it Simple (Stupido)

With Labor Day weekend quickly approaching, hundreds of thousands of people (including me) will be entertaining friends and family and stressing over what to make. This got me thinking of our approach as Americans to food in general, and our tendency to over-complicate things that should be fairly simple. What’s more is we often look at holidays and long weekends as an opportunity to stuff our faces and eat whatever we want.

I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Italy a couple times over the past few years, but it has really changed the way I think about food and how different we are from Europeans in general. While Americans take 15 minutes to dine “al desko” at work, Europeans enjoy long, luxurious meals that can last for hours. Italians have a flair for creating memorable food with the simplest, and in many cases, peasant ingredients. From a simple grilled piece of fish with lemon and olive oil to a classic Caprese salad, Italian cuisine, while not traditionally looked at as “nutritious,” uses simple, high-quality ingredients that go a long way. While many may think of wine, pasta and cheese as the mainstay of many Italian diets, one never sees very…

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Branding

How NOT to Get Lost In A Sea of Acronyms

Cartoonstock.comThere are nearly 100,000 trade associations operating in the U.S. today (per NPR), and in a marketplace as crowded as this one, it’s all too easy for your organization’s true purpose to get lost in a sea of acronyms. But groups like the American Physical Therapy Association, National Association of Broadcasters and National Restaurant Association prove how associations can use the principles of branding to bolster their relevance, nurture their relationships with members and other stakeholders, and reconnect with their central purpose.

Here are a few anecdotes:

Know Your Audience, Inside and Out

Before you can strengthen your association’s image, you must explore the issues and trends impacting your members, how those factors influence their perceptions and behaviors, and how they influence the perceptions and behaviors of their stakeholders. The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) set a good example of this when it engaged PadillaCRT in the development of its “Move Forward” campaign.

Research among consumers, physicians, health care professionals, insurers and APTA members revealed that while physical therapists were viewed very positively, consumers had a narrow definition of their capabilities and were more likely to access a physical…

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Wine, Food & Nutrition

(Mis)Perception on a Plate: 5 Formerly Vilified Foods

Those of us in PR who represent food, nutrition and health products are often re-explaining and redefining our consumables based on evolving science. While other industries such as consumer electronics definitely have lots of technical updates to communicate to passionate publics, people tend to have a special level of concern about a product they actually swallow and put into their bodies. Is it wholesome and nutritious? Will it keep me from getting a disease, or will it cause unwanted side effects? The answers to those questions can change over time as researchers conduct more studies, and foods we once gulped down can sometime fall out of favor while other foods we once shunned can become desirable. It’s challenging for marketing communicators to ensure the public keeps up with the facts.

Here’s a glimpse at five foods whose confusing stories have clarified over time and taken them from “avoid” status to mass consumption:

killer tomatoesTomatoes. This is perhaps one of the more dramatic supermarket turnaround stories. While today tomatoes are our country’s fourth-most popular fresh-market vegetable (actually, a fruit) behind potatoes, lettuce and onions, they were once thought to be deadly toxic.…

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Healthcare

Tackling Childhood Obesity – What’s Working and What’s Not

kids running

It’s been a week of highs and lows for children’s health advocates.  A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that more than three-quarters of U.S. children eat fruit on any given day, and nearly 92 percent dig into vegetables in a 24-hour period.  As a mom of two boys, I find this to be a pleasant surprise.  But, it’s not all sunshine and roses.  Another CDC study uncovered that youth fitness has declined by about 10 percent since 2004, and is significantly below what it should be.

Gordon Blackburn, director of cardiac rehabilitation at the Cleveland Clinic put the research into context, “Thirty years ago, we would not have expected to see 12-year-olds with symptoms of cardiac disease.  Now we’ve had to start a pediatric preventive cardiology clinic.”

There has been a concerted effort through a variety of campaigns to move the needle on kids’ health and fitness.  In 1991, the “5 a Day” (now “Fruits and Veggies – More Matters”) campaign was created to increase fruit and vegetable consumption for better health.  In 2007, the campaign shifted to target Gen X moms with a digital effort focused on recipes,…

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The Booze Bin

4 Ways to Enjoy National American Beer Month

July is National American Beer Month and what’s more American than inventing new ways to enjoy beer! These are my top four ways to enjoy one of America’s favorite beverages.

DraftServ beer machine

1. Self-serve beer stations. Yesterday at the All-Star game in my hometown of Minneapolis, Major League Baseball fans at Target Field could pour their own beer (up to 48 ounces) using machines, called DraftServ, a partnership between concessionaire Delaware North and Anheuser-Busch. The machines still used attendants to ensure fans didn’t over-serve themselves.

2. Beat the heat with beer and fruit pairings. Cool down this summer by combining: juicy fruit and cold beer. Fancy a popsicle with a little hop? Quench your thirst with recipes such as: Petit Saison & Raspberry Beersicles or Frozen Beer Soaked Watermelonsicles made with one of my favorite summer seasonal brews Hell or High Watermelon by 21st Amendment brewery.

3. Reserve your spot for a new home brew system. Synek is a crowdsourced personal beer dispenser. Similar to a keg, the Synek uses cartridges that are pressurized with CO2. The chamber of the dispenser is not pressurized, which allows you to interchange the…

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The Booze Bin

How To Make Good Instagram Pics Great

If I had to sum up what great PR pros have in common, it boils down to this: attention to detail.  Especially in alcohol beverage marketing, we suffer from “eagle eye syndrome” and spot the smallest mistakes, from a missing suggested retail price on a fact sheet to the wrong vintage on a tasting mat.

Given our typical OC nature, why do we then throw this diligence to the wind when it comes to social media updates for our clients? The worst offenders seem to be based on Instagram. Sometimes, a picture doesn’t say a thousand words and you need to add context for your audience.

Booze Bin1

Here are my favorite free apps to make your Instagram pictures more powerful:

Instafood

Instafood takes the guesswork out of food pics. What wine is that in the picture? Is this a meat or veggie casserole? This location-based food photo app lets you share what, when and where you ate in that photo. Elegant overlays allow you to share notes about the culinary experience with your audience.

Use It For: Wine and food pairing tips.

pic3

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Digital Marketing

From Slow Cocktails to Street Food: 4 Food Marketing Tips Learned at the World Cup

brazil1(image courtesy: BenyGalvao)

 I think spiders are soldiers of Satan, but even the threat of massive, wandering ones didn’t stop me from getting to Brazil this month to experience the World Cup.  Though my time there was short, between matches, I managed to dip a toe into the vibrant Salvadoran culture outside the stadium.

After feasting on steaming hot moquecas and African-inspired acarajé, I realized just how much of that region’s cuisine is built on shared experiences. So, today, I’ll do my best to share some of that experience with you, PR pros. Here are four food marketing lessons straight from Salvador and the World Cup:

What you see enhances what you get.

Squeezed into a tented bar in the middle of a rainstorm, I got an unobstructed view of all that went into my favorite Caipirinha of the trip: 10+ freshly squeezed limes, several scoops of cane sugar, a healthy pour of Cachaca and 20 minutes worth of diligent muddling. Seeing the degree of care that went into crafting that slow, delicious cocktail gave me confidence in my purchase, heightened my respect for the man making it,…

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Wine, Food & Nutrition

EU Food Producers Face Challenges and Opportunities in US Market

pic 1As the world slowly recovers from the economic crisis, Europe increasingly looks to export markets for its beloved food products. Their wines have been flowing through our ports for years, helping to make the U.S. the number one consumer of vino. Other foods such as cheese and salumi have faced more challenges including domestic competition, government regulations and a lower level of consumer knowledge for their artisan products.

pic 2Education is the key for these products. The DOP and PDO systems for geographical protection are still foreign to the majority of Americans. Advertising alone cannot solve this problem. Education marketing requires an integrated approach that reaches all audiences including distributors, retailers, chefs and the end consumer for success.

Realizing the need for impactful marketing campaigns the EU made recent changes that will provide new opportunities for producers and their regional associations. Increases in total funding and co-financing contributions, along with less red tape to deal with member states will make it easier for more producers to participate in marketing campaigns.

Over the years we have managed several successful EU campaigns, including one that…

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The Booze Bin

5 PR Basics, As Explained by Game of Thrones

What do Little Finger, Arya Stark, Tywin Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen and Joffrey Baratheon have in common? They all exemplify a certain trait every PR practitioner and “good” brand should have. While my examples are booze-related, the underlying principles are true for every industry. Keep reading even if you’re not a Game of Thrones fan (although the real question is: Why aren’t you?).

1. Little Finger – Be Strategic

Winter is coming, folks. Only the well-prepared will prevail. When preparing for turbulent times (a bad harvest, a spokesperson gone rogue, etc.), it’s key to have a strategy. It’s ok to change course if the situation warrants, but in order to do so, you need to know your final destination. Most underdogs are also operating on a well thought-out strategy to gain respect and influence in their industry of choice. Little Finger clearly wants to marry a Stark girl and become king– two goals almost impossible without an elaborate plan.

Real Life Example: Virginia Wine wants to compete with the best of the best from Europe and California. A series of vintners is leading the way, backed up by a strong vision

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