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Global Cocktail Challenge propels Angostura’s growth in new markets

Published: 
Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge is one of the world’s most grueling and challenging cocktail competitions. Earlier this year, rigorous and fiercely competitive regional and national heats culminated in a cultural cocktail explosion at the Grand Finals in Trinidad, won by New Zealander Ray Letoa.

The Challenge is exciting for all the competitors and offers one of the best prizes out there for the ultimate winner: US $10,000 and a two-year contract as Angostura’s Global Brand Ambassador.

But it’s much more than a fun competition. It’s also a valuable tool in Angostura’s competitive arsenal as the company grows its presence—and steadily improves its sales—on the international front.

“The thinking behind the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge is very strategic,” says Angostura CEO Genevieve Jodhan, “it’s an initiative that achieves very specific goals: First of all, it improves awareness of our brands, reinforcing our position as the world’s best-selling and the #1 trending cocktail bitters and increasing international awareness and usage of our rums and Amaro di Angostura.

“The Challenge also helps Angostura expand and develop our international bartender and influencer network. This year 260 bartenders from 47 countries competed. Each of those bartenders emerged as a lifelong advocate of our brands, with a deep understanding of the role of Angostura® aromatic bitters in cocktails, and ardent enthusiasm about the Angostura portfolio of rums and Amaro di Angostura®.”

In addition to recruiting new bartenders into the Angostura franchise, the national and regional competitions served to promote Angostura in each of its international markets, building relationships with the company’s distributors and with the trade itself.

In the 47 countries that hosted competitions last year, there was a marked uptick in brand awareness for Angostura, with stories of the company’s brand heritage and leadership in the cocktail industry featured in trade publications and shared widely across social media.

Angostura was quick to reinforce this effect, taking advantage of every opportunity for brand education and sampling.

“The tremendous impact that the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge has on the trade plays right into our strategy to deepen relationships with our international distributors— critical partners in the company’s growth” says Natasha Mustapha- Scott, Executive Manager -Marketing.

“The competition gives our distributors a valuable tool that they then use to promote the brands on trade, and distributors have really taken the opaportunity and run with it: They leverage the competition to drive brand awareness via Public Relations coverage, special advertising campaigns and extensive social media mobilization amongst the bartending community,” says Mustapha-Scott.

All of this has proved particularly advantageous for Angostura in the company’s strategically targeted markets in Eastern Europe, with high levels of bartender interest and participation in emerging markets like Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Rep, Poland, Armenia and Macedonia, and Jodhan adds that “the effect of the Challenge on sales in Russia, Austria, Italy and the USA has also been notable.”

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