Branding

Why Everything Tastes Better on Vacation (and what that means for your brand)

photo: highstyllife.com

photo: highstyllife.com

We’ve all had that moment.

While on vacation you eat or drink something that is so transcendentally delicious, it instantly ranks among the best things you’ve ever had. The pleasure is so deep and complete it’s like your taste buds are hard-wired to your very soul. “Do I detect a hint of fresh mint, or is that MDMA? Either way, I want more.”

So you buy up as many cases as you can get through customs, or obsessively hunt down the recipe to recreate it a home. But, despite your best efforts, it’s never quite the same. Sure, it’s good, but it’s not as good as you remember it.

What’s going on here? A temporary insanity of the taste buds?

Well, sort of.

Consider this: In 2008, a group of neuroscientists in California conducted an experiment that shed new light onto how we taste. Twenty volunteers were strapped into an fMRI scanner and given samples of wine. Among them were tastes from a “$10” bottle and a “$90” bottle that, in reality, were the exact same wine. It should come as no shock that the…

PR Industry Trends

Cachaça, Don’t Call it Rum: Learn More About Brazil’s National Spirit 

With temps nearing 100 degrees, a West Village bar invites patrons in for Caipirinhas

Brazil possesses a unique style that effortlessly excites all the senses. We see it in the graceful footwork of Brazilian soccer players shimmying around in bright uniforms. We hear it in the jazzy sounds of Bossa Nova. We feel it as we watch Samba dancers in their exotic costumes. We smell it in the flame-broiled churrasco and chimichurri slowly cooking inside cast-iron skillets. With all of that excitement and flavor, it’s no mystery that Brazil’s staple alcoholic beverage, cachaça, holds that same elegant yet unpretentious fashion and charm. That is what you taste when you sip cachaça, pronounced ka-SHAH-sa, a product of denomination that is typically exclusive of Brazil.

Many call it the Brazilian rum, but that’s pretty far from true. In spite of having a similar “DNA”, rum and cachaça are produced with great differences in method, origins, and flavors. Yes, they’re both derived from sugarcane but the cachaça of Brazil and rum of the Caribbean are not the same spirit.

not rum

Cachaça is a spirit distilled from fermented sugarcane juice, where sugar may be added only up to six grams…

The Booze Bin

Telling the Tale: Two Beverage Brands That Get it Right

Today’s consumers are savvier than ever, with ever-increasing access to their favorite brands via social media. Marketers are tasked with identifying their target customer and developing a strategy that tells the authentic story of their brand. From gender-specific marketing to retelling a historic tale of an iconic brand, below are two examples of beverage brands that tell their story well.

Should brands segment their marketing based on gender? We know that  females account for 55% of American wine drinkers. Additionally, women are directly responsible for over 80% of wine purchases by volume in the US, according to Beverage Media.  If that’s the case, certainly beverage brands want the attention of the female consumer.

The question is not why to market to women, but how?

But, the question is not why to market to women, but how? It’s obvious that marketers want to target women, but one must be careful not to be too kitschy and alienate segments of their female consumer group. Do not underestimate your customer. According to Ed Barden, Director of Marketing at Excelsior Wines, “Women don’t want to bring a stereotype to the table.” Brands like

The Booze Bin

What the wine trade can learn from 2016’s Aspen Food & Wine Classic Trends

Earlier this month, I had the absolute privilege to escape New York City and head to Colorado for the 34th annual Food + Wine Classic in Aspen. Not only did my eyes soak up marvelous mountain vistas, I also had the chance to sample scrumptious snacks and luscious libations. And as a marketing professional, it was also a sneak peek behind the curtain to see what’s new and exciting in the world of wine and food. With over 5,000 epicurean attendees, Danny Myer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group explains, “It’s where I find out what my customers will be drinking next year.” So with a wine glass in one hand and a camera in the other, I embarked on a gourmet journey to discover the undeniable trends from the 2016 Food + Wine Classic in Aspen.

ASPEN

Rosé Reigns with diverse audiences

We have already reported that rosé wines are a growing trend in the wine industry, and if you’ve been to a liquor store at all this season, you’ve surely seen more and more rosé lining the shelves. This was certainly the case at the Food +

The Booze Bin

What the wine trade can learn from 2016’s Aspen Food & Wine Classic Trends

Earlier this month, I had the absolute privilege to escape New York City and head to Colorado for the 34th annual Food + Wine Classic in Aspen. Not only did my eyes soak up marvelous mountain vistas, I also had the chance to sample scrumptious snacks and luscious libations. And as a marketing professional, it was also a sneak peek behind the curtain to see what’s new and exciting in the world of wine and food. With over 5,000 epicurean attendees, Danny Myer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group explains, “It’s where I find out what my customers will be drinking next year.” So with a wine glass in one hand and a camera in the other, I embarked on a gourmet journey to discover the undeniable trends from the 2016 Food + Wine Classic in Aspen.

ASPEN

Rosé Reigns with diverse audiences

We have already reported that rosé wines are a growing trend in the wine industry, and if you’ve been to a liquor store at all this season, you’ve surely seen more and more rosé lining the shelves. This was certainly the case at the Food +

The Booze Bin

What the wine trade can learn from 2016’s Aspen Food & Wine Classic Trends

Earlier this month, I had the absolute privilege to escape New York City and head to Colorado for the 34th annual Food + Wine Classic in Aspen. Not only did my eyes soak up marvelous mountain vistas, I also had the chance to sample scrumptious snacks and luscious libations. And as a marketing professional, it was also a sneak peek behind the curtain to see what’s new and exciting in the world of wine and food. With over 5,000 epicurean attendees, Danny Myer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group explains, “It’s where I find out what my customers will be drinking next year.” So with a wine glass in one hand and a camera in the other, I embarked on a gourmet journey to discover the undeniable trends from the 2016 Food + Wine Classic in Aspen.

ASPEN

Rosé Reigns with diverse audiences

We have already reported that rosé wines are a growing trend in the wine industry, and if you’ve been to a liquor store at all this season, you’ve surely seen more and more rosé lining the shelves. This was certainly the case at the Food +

PR Industry Trends

BEER-CATION: 45 Must-Visit Breweries (INFOGRAPHIC)

As a craft beer lover, one of my favorite things to do when traveling – or, heck, even hanging out in town – is visiting local breweries. So what makes a great brewery? Well, you need to ask the experts. And who are the experts exactly? In my book, it’s WE THE PEOPLE – the beer-lovers of the world. So in conducting my research of “must visit” craft breweries across the United States, I reached out to the coolest beer experts that I know – my friends – and asked them for their favorite brewery experiences. Whether it’s the location (at the beach, on a lake, in the heart of the city, on a mountain or in the country) or the atmosphere (funky, urban, hippy, industrial or vibrant) or the beers (innovative, flavorful, traditional or hoppy), the key thing that I learned is, visiting a brewery is really more than just popping in to get a brew. It’s a total interactive, sensory, learning experience. If you have a “successful” brewery visit, you actually gain an understanding of the culture, hospitality, flavors, people, scenery and even history of the area. That’s pretty cool.…

Digital Marketing

Man vs. Cocktail

bigstock-Group-Of-Happy-Smiling-Friends-41555776-300x199

I’m noticing a trend: cocktail manufacturers are targeting men.

Case in point: Stoli. Interestingly, their research showed that while nearly three of four millennial men liked flavored cocktails, the vast majority 63% claimed that they avoid them in public because they were anxious about what their friends would say.

Nearly half of millennial men said that there was a negative stigma associated with men drinking flavored cocktails because they are seen as a drink for women.

Millennials are more insecure about this than older generations: 41% of millennial men think that their drink of choice is a reflection of their masculinity compared to 32% of Gen Xers and only 15% of boomers.

Stoli chose to tackle the issue head-on with a cheeky new ad campaign focusing on their flavored vodka and easy-to-order cocktails.

Adweek

Others have sought to overcome this perception hurdle by bringing the cocktail experience home. At Food Loves Tech, one of the featured gadgets was Bartesian’s home cocktail maker. Currently in pre-sales mode and seeking funding via a Kickstarter campaign, it takes the public cocktail experience into the home.

The Booze Bin

Sour Ale: A Beer for Wine Drinkers

The adult beverage market is as vast as the sea, with ever changing tides to keep marketers on their toes. The explosion of the craft beer movement has brought a lot of recent attention to sour ales, which are popping up all over. Just when you thought you were learning the difference between porter and stout, sour beer is the new kid on the block. Intentionally acidic and/or tart, “sour beers” are the newest trend in alcohol segmentation.

History of Sour Beer

Marketers should understand that many of today’s products have crossover appeal; they are products that target more than one audience. A sour beer so complex, it lures the perpetual wine drinker in for a sip. A spirit aged in beer barrels, so enticing even the most staunch beer drinker would give it a try.

Have you tried Sour Beer yet?

The story of sour ales is almost as old as the story of beer itself. Modern day brewing is a sterile, thoughtful process, but it hasn’t always been so. Before pure yeast cultures were available, brewers of old would use wild yeast to start their…

The Booze Bin

Hot Trend Alert: Mixing It Up with Beer Cocktails

So I was sitting at one of my favorite watering holes enjoying an Uberlin beer from a local brewery, Strangeways. The bartender said, “Hey, try this,” and proceeded to pour orange juice into my beer. I was disturbed…I mean, why would you want to taint a perfectly delicious beer? Well, it turns out that it’s now my new favorite drink. And, it was instant inspiration for discovering what else is out there in the land of beer mixology!

As the craft beer industry continues to flourish across the U.S. (check out this post on craft beers hitting the big time), it makes perfect sense that breweries and bartenders are looking for new ways to utilize the products that they have at their disposal. Liquor, champagne and even wine are used regularly to create cocktails, so why not beer? Not only do beer cocktails give beer lovers something fresh and unique to experience, these mixed drinks also are a great way for breweries to offer additional options to consumers who may not have a taste for beer. (It’s hard to believe, but those people do exist!) While the concept of “beer-tails” is not exactly new (hello, Corona in