Chase International experienced its strongest year ever in 2014, despite difficult trading conditions due to exchange rates, and increasing product, freight, warehousing costs, and supply availability issues on its bourbons, says Chase International President Chase Donaldson.
“We are very fortunate to represent brands that are in many of the ‘Hot categories’ now – Confections, Bourbons and Whiskies, Cinnamon, and super to ultra-premium Rums, Tequilas and Vodkas,” he says. “We are already experiencing a strong start to 2015 in both the retail and cruise areas, and are excited about the prospects for this year with our strong portfolio of well-known confection and spirit and wine brands. We have also staffed-up our sales area too, in order to meet the growing demands of global customers and dedicate more singular/personal focus to our customers.”
Chase International’s portfolio is divided among spirits and confectionery, both of which had strong years in 2014.
“In spirits in the U.S. travel retail area, our success was mainly attributed to the full year addition of Jose Cuervo Tequilas and Stoli Vodka brands, strong sales and new distribution on Fireball Cinnamon Whisky and Kraken Rum, and in the hot bourbon category with Blanton’s Single barrel Bourbon and Buffalo Trace Bourbon. Aggressive retail and cruiseline programming on all our brands also helped to add to our growth success,” he says.
In the Caribbean, as well as in the U.S., Gosling’s Black Seal Rum experienced double digit growth again for another consecutive year due to the expansion of Gosling’s Ginger Beer into new markets, and the dedicated focus on Gosling’s popular Dark ‘n Stormy Drink.
“We also were very successful expanding distribution and programming on Kraken Rum, Pallini Limoncello and Bear Hug Infusions in both the U.S. and many Caribbean markets. Further, we succeeded in gaining many new cruiseline drink menu listings on Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, Fireball, Chila ‘Orchata with Carnival and NCL cruiselines. Stoli Premium Vodka is also featured on NCL and Royal Caribbean. New airport and border distribution gains were also experienced on Stoli’s Ultra Luxury elit Vodka brand due to the new brand positioning and pricing. Botran Super-Premium Rums from Guatemala also benefited from increased distribution drives in the U.S. and Caribbean markets. Three Olives Elvis and Marilyn Monroe Vodka brands continue to perform very well due to the unique and attractive ‘Collector’ packaging and great taste.”
In confectionery, Chase International surpassed its sales goals on Hershey’s and Hawaiian Host Chocolates thanks to new exclusive travel retail packages and dedicated aggressive promotion initiatives developed by its suppliers, says Donaldson
Chase International is introducing and featuring a number of exciting new and well-known brands in Orlando.
“We were just recently appointed to distribute the world-class Bushmill’s Irish Whiskies from Proximo Spirits, and have strong promotion and advertising initiatives planned for 2015. We will be focusing on the classic Bushmill’s Original, Bushmill’s Black Bush, and Bushmill’s 10YO, 16YO and 21YO Single Malt Irish Whiskies. Additionally we will be showcasing Stoli’s new eye-catching ‘The Vodka’ global ad campaign for Stoli Premium, and introducing Stoli ‘s Ultra Luxury elit with a new attractive year-round tin,” he says.
“We will also be launching for the U.S. Travel Retail market only, the super-premium leader in the fast growing Mezcal category – Del Maguey Mezcal from Sazerac Company and will be displaying the Vida, Crema and the Single Village mescals retailing from around $50.00 – $100 per bottle.
Additionally, we will be introducing Plantation Fine Crafted Rums – Grande Reserve 5 Year, 3 Stars and the 20th Anniversary XO for the U.S. and Caribbean markets.