Jennifer Reade gives us the 411 on botanicals in The Botanist, the gin and tonic boom—and what you’ll see at our Glasgow office.
How is gin performing globally?
Gin is a great category to be in. Consumers everywhere are loving gin. New gin markets, like India, are showing great signs of growth, and gin is being driven by premiumization. Super-Premium and Ultra-Premium segments have grown +25% and +60% in volume, respectively, over the last five years, and the trend continues. Over these past five years, The Botanist has been the fastest-growing Super-Premium gin in the world—growing four-times faster than the category, a great achievement for all involved.
What can you share about The Botanist botanicals?
Twenty-two Islay botanicals are in The Botanist. Each have very distinct flavours: For example, sweet delicate menthol from apple mint, honey from creeping thistle, and coconut from gorse. Together, they bring The Botanist its unique flavour. These botanicals are sustainably hand-picked on Islay from spring through to autumn by James Donaldson, our full-time forager. His picking season commences as soon as gorse flowers start to appear in March, ending with sweet gale in September.
The gin and tonic boom?
What came first: Gin or tonic? Personally, I think gin, and tonic capitalised on it. At The Botanist, we have a twist: a Botanist and tonic, or “B&T.” The difference is that you get a local, seasonal garnish with your B&T, which helps people discover the hidden flavours all around them.
Flavoured gin, pink gin … There is a new debate concerning the boundaries between gin and vodka. Many gin brands are debuting flavoured gins which don’t taste of juniper, a key gin ingredient. I even heard about a new bubblegum gin! At The Botanist, having that core juniper flavour is important to us. We are a real, artisan, authentic gin, and people love us because of the authenticity in our gin and in our story.
What about Rémy Cointreau was attractive to you?
Rémy Cointreau is world-renowned in the spirits business because of its brands and rich heritage. I liked that they were still family-owned, which, for me, meant that the business would act and operate differently than larger companies. During my recruitment, I learned that Rémy Cointreau supported and was inspired by Bruichladdich Distillery’s philosophy, which gave me a good feeling about the company.
What attracted you to the liqueurs and spirits business?
I dabbled in whisky at the start of my marketing career. Afterward, I gained experience in an FMCG company, enabling me to build a strong foundation in brand management, but I was eager to get back into spirits. I found spirits to be more premium and to have a story. I also am a massive fan of packaging. I enjoy discovering brands through packaging, and I think the spirits business does this very well.
The ambiance at the Rémy Cointreau Glasgow office?
Bright and vibrant. Twenty people work here, as the majority of Bruichladdich Distillery employees work on Islay. The office is mixed: brand, finance, design and IT. The floor is made of reclaimed flooring from the Kelvinhall, a famous sports hall in Glasgow. It doesn’t feel corporate at all, and it is located in the centre of Glasgow, which is ideal for commuting. Although we are in the city, we have green all around us and overlook a lovely park. In the summer, we go there for lunch.
What does your role as Senior Global Brand Manager entail?
Setting strategy for The Botanist to deliver continued growth, which involves volume targets, pricing range, innovation, communications and activation. I work with key stakeholders at the distillery and the Glasgow office and 65 global markets. My role touches PR, digital, POS, campaign planning, events, innovation planning, internal coms, merchandising, budgeting and reporting, market management, gift packs, research … Two days are never the same!