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Scotch liqueur aims to mirror gin’s success

The team behind a new Scotch whisky-based cream liqueur believes its product has the potential to enjoy similar growth to that enjoyed by recent upmarket additions to the premium gin and vodka categories.

Steve Horne and Lee Schofield, directors at RTMSS

Launched last autumn, Magnum is produced by Speyside’s BenRiach Distillery in a blend incorporating Scotch whisky and Dutch cream. Carrying an RRP of about £19.99, the 17% abv liqueur is packaged in a quick-chill, recyclable and reusable stainless steel 70cl flask in the shape of a milk churn.

Having secured initial distribution deals in the UK, the brand is currently being launched into markets including South Africa, the Americas and China with the help of a “six figure” investment in a campaign orchestrated by Edinburgh-based sales consultancy RTM Sales Solutions.

RTMSS director Steve Horne highlighted the brand’s “strong provenance values” while identifying its non-gender specific target audience as “the emerging market of consumers who want premium quality products.”

Setting out the opportunity for Magnum, he remarked: “Within other spirit categories, notably gin and vodka in recent years, we’ve seen the emergence of many new and successful premium-level brands. We believe we there is fantastic potential to also create similar market success for a premium Scotch malt whisky-based product.”

Suggesting that “the market share potential for premium drinks brands in other categories such as gin equates to around 10-15% of its overall sales,” Horne noted: “If applied to the cream liqueur category Magnum could be on target for annual sales of around 100,000 cases in the UK alone.”

With the marketing budget due to be focused on awareness-building activity such as consumer sampling, Horne concluded: “The initial consumer engagement, both in the UK and abroad, shows that there’s a great opportunity to establish Magnum as an international premium brand cream liqueur which can only be positive for the wider Scotch whisky industry.”

The launch of Magnum follows in the wake of large whisky brands who have been developing flavoured liqueur expressions, such as Red Stag from Jim Beam and Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey.

As analysed by Euromonitor, this growing category has so far tended to focus on more sophisticated flavours than its vodka counterparts in a move designed to open up both the whisky and liqueur categories to a broader consumer spectrum.

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