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Label 5 Scotch hits new sales record

Label 5 Scotch has surpassed 2.6 million cases in annual sales and has the stock to grow further, according to Sylvia Bernard, international marketing director at brand owner La Martiniquaise.

Label 5 Scotch has surpassed 2.6 million cases in annual sales

Speaking to the drinks business last week at ProWein, Bernard said that the Scotch brand has enjoyed a sales increase of more than 100,000 cases in 2014, driven by a return to growth in the French market – where the whisky sells two-thirds of its volumes – as well as other parts of Western Europe and emerging markets worldwide.

“Our sales in France have recovered after the tax increases in France two years ago, which had a big [negative] effect,” she told db.

Continuing, she stressed that Label 5 has the potential to grow further. “We fully control the supply… and we have invested strongly in Scotch over the last 10 years so we have the supply to grow.”

She then stated, “So our investment now is in sales and marketing.”

Indeed, Label 5 used the German wine and spirits fair to unveil a new global campaign for the whisky called “City Light Colours”. This is a continuation of its marketing theme based around major urban environments, which included a Facebook competition last year called the 5-second city contest inviting Label 5 consumers to take a 5-second Instagram video of their favourite city for a chance to win a round-the-world trip for two.

To celebrate the launch of the 2015 campaign, Label 5 has developed a range of limited-edition whiskies centred on three global cities: London, New York and Shanghai.

Meanwhile, the brand introduced the Label 5 Gold Heritage last year, an upmarket expression with no age statement.

“It sits between a 12 and 18-year-old Scotch but we don’t communicate on the age,” said Bernard.

Following other whisky brands such as The Macallan, which have decided to shun the traditional technique of marketing top-end whiskies based on the age of the spirit, Bernard said there were two reasons for Label 5’s approach.

One of these is a “lack of aged Scotch”, while the other, she said, was “to promote the expertise we have in Scotland” by helping the consumer to discover the character of better expressions through tasting notes.

La Martiniquaise also owns the Sir Edward’s Scotch brand, which Bernard said had also grown last year by over 100,000 cases to hit a global total sales volume of 1.5m cases. The company’s other major spirits brands include Poliakov vodka and Negrita rum, and La Martiniquaise is the second largest spirits business in France after Pernod Ricard.

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