Treasury Wine Estates has capitalised on the booming gin category by applying Squealing Pig’s magic formula to the spirit. Chief Marketing Officer Angus Lilley reveals to the latest issue of Drinks Trade how the on and off-premise have reacted to Squealing Pig gin.
What makes the Squealing Pig brand so successful? Number one rosé, number two selling Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris in Australia. What is the secret?
This brand has some magic to it that if we could pick it up and redeploy it and repurpose it, life would be easy. It’s a combination of elements, the pack, the name, the quality of the wine. They are resonating with consumers. I think we are very conscious of how we bring the brand to market. It’s a combination of elements, the pack, the name, the quality of the wine. They are resonating with consumers. I think we are very conscious of how we bring the brand to life. Had we thought about it for a stand-alone gin brand or for other brands it may not have felt right, but for Squealing Pig it just felt such a natural fit.
Tell us about the beginnings of the gin/rosé concept.
We have thought about innovation and where we wanted to take the brand for a long time. We introduced cans, different varietals and line extensions, but the success of gin and the ongoing booming success of rosé popped into my head on the back of one of our innovation sessions, and it just felt like a natural fit.
We discussed it, and everybody we bounced the idea off said let’s do it. It came together quickly as a team effort, and we worked from there.
Tell us about the creation of the rosé gin?
We worked with a third party to create the gin itself. It is Australian, local and grain-based. Distilling gin is not something Treasury Wine Estates has a history in so we leveraged internal resources, engaged an external resource, and landed on a product we felt worked best when blended with rosé.
What is it about pink gin? What is the appeal?
The success of gin, pink beverages as a whole, and rosé, all fit under the umbrella of the ongoing macro trend of refreshment.
We are combining two of the drivers of the success of the refreshment category grow/ Gin and rosé coming together is a natural fit. Ours happens to be a wine-infused gin to create colour, a lot of others are adding colour to create the pink gins. I think it speaks to the broader refreshment category growth that we are seeing.
What has been the reaction to Squealing Pig gin from retailers?
The feeling is really positive in a number of larger retail customers around Australia.
We are feeling incredibly positive about it, albeit early days. As this is something new for TWE in terms of bringing a gin to market we did so with a little bit of hesitation, but the strength of the brand and the strength of the category coming together just seems to work.
What has been the feedback to Squealing Pig gin from the on-premise?
Incredibly positive. We engaged a broad spectrum of bartenders and mixologists from across the country in the development of the product. [Australian bartending legend] Jason Crawley is helping us with bringing our brand to life in on-premise throughout the country over the next 12 months. He was also involved in the product development and getting the palate right, and was involved with creating the signature recipes and signature serves.
Is the plan to go global with Squealing Pig gin?
This is a local Australian test and learn. It is the first gin product that Treasury has launched. We feel as though we have landed on something that will work with consumers, but we are very much test and learn and see how we go.
Is this the beginning of a broader range of gins from Treasury Wine Estates?
We see real benefit in terms of leveraging the trend and the consumer following particularly for rosé gin and leveraging that to introduce wine consumers to our gin brand and vice versa. We see some real upside for the category as a whole, and we are confident about where we are heading. If we are successful, it might be something we do more of in the future.