London’s pioneers of boutique alcohol talk to us about the industry, the future and how we can win some of their award-winning spirits
They say that the only industry other than Silicon Valley technology where one can quickly achieve huge returns; the alcohol industry. Certainly, in the last 10 years we’ve seen fortunes being made in the industry. International conglomerates like Diageo and Pernod Ricard have begun to acquire independents at a rapid speed – effectively buying the deep brand loyalty that grassroots distilleries and vineyards have developed with their global customers.
Seeing the obvious pattern of high profile exits emerge, even celebrities have begun to take part in the industry, with notable examples including; Jay-Z (Armand de Brignac Champagne), P-Diddy (Ciroc Vodka), Ryan Reynolds (Aviation Gin), Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson (Teremana Tequila), George Clooney (Casa Amigos Tequila), Matthew McConaughey (Longbranch Bourbon), The Fat Jewish (White Girl Rose), David Beckham (Haig Club Scotch), Mikael Silvestre (St. Bart’s Rum) and Ron Jeremy (Ron de Jeremy Rum) among many others.
It is clear, alcohol is a hot commodity. Yet, with all these brands coming into the market, comes an inevitably saturated industry. Enter, the Nomad Collection; a London-based marketing and distribution agency that is specialised in making premium alcohol brands stand out by developing and executing tailored strategies.
Founded in 2015 by industry stalwarts Nik Krasniqi and Mirlind Merovci, Nomad has transformed how boutique brands enter the UK market and establish their foothold – creating huge commercial success for their partner brands.
The Nomad portfolio includes beloved bar-tender favourites like LE Tribute Gin (a Spanish gin, made in an antique distillery outside of Barcelona) and FourFox Sake (one of the only premium commercial sakes on the market), making them a much coveted source for craft and high quality spirits.
We caught up with co-founder Krasniqi to get his unique perspective on the industry and find out what trends and changes we should be looking out for:
What are the new trends shaping the drinks industry?
We believe that sustainability will continue to be a big trend for the rest of this year and beyond. With the impact of Covid-19, people will ask more from brands and rightfully so – this is a positive trend that makes us all makes us look for products that have ethical and sustainable roots. The pandemic has shown how important our collective ecological impact is and how quickly we can start to reverse it if we work together.
What drives customer loyalty for drinks brands… is it brand marketing, price or positioning?
We believe that branding is key to creating customers loyalty – customers want to buy into more than just a product. Branding in this sense is wholistic for the consumer – They want the lifestyle, the story, a narrative to be a part of. Of course, quality is also important and so is price but loyalty comes from the whole package.
Would you say that this is why heritage seems to be such an important element for drinks brands?
Yes, brand legacy is important as both a signifier of quality and to deliver a richness of background to the product. For example, we are proud to be the (on trade and consumer) distributors of LE Tribute gin in the UK…a spirit that has been produced by The Giro family in Spain for 3 generations!
The Giro family fully understand the value of digging into heritage, even the bottles are designed to resemble old medicine containers – an homage to the distillery’s early life when it was used to create syrups and medicines in the early 19th century. The bottles are really beautifully designed and show that the brand promises to always stay committed to its values of tradition, craft and heritage.
When you have a distillery like that, there’s a trust and confidence passed on to the consumer that the product is the result of the best craftsmanship and knowledge. The essence of this process and heritage is truly adopted by loyal fans and continued through them.
We do love the LE Tribute Gin. Out of all the spirits, why do you think that gin has taken the world by storm in the past few years?
I think the trend started when customers got tired of the “purity” hooks used and abused by a lot of brands. We all wanted to see more originality, excitement and use of different ingredients. After all thats what gin is all about; it is a very versatile spirit. You can really experiment with different botanicals and as a result we have seen some amazingly exciting brands being creative in their approach and processes!
How do you see the future of drinks industry changing post COVID?
When it comes to supply chain, I believe that the drinks industry has been lagging behind in incorporating technology into operations. Digitalising a platform from producer to consumer would help the industry in many ways.
We saw a massive increase of online sales during the lockdown and I think that will continue post Covid. People are discovering extended product ranges via online retailers and consuming things at home, this will help brands create awareness and tell their story to a much larger audience that wasn’t necessarily engaging with them before.
However, the beating heart of the drinks industry continues to be hospitality and we hope that consumers will continue support local venues and businesses.
What exciting new venues that are opening up can we can find your gin in?
We are looking forward to our on trade partners re-opening and supporting them with our brands. You can find our products at places such as Annabel’s, The Art’s Club, Holborn Dining Room at the Rosewood, Ham Yard Hotel, Novikov, Kai Mayfair, Hide etc.
We’re in specialist retailers such as Hedonism Wines and Whisky Exchange where you can also find our LE Tribute tonics, ginger ales and ginger beer – perfect mixers for anything from mezcal to vodka. If digital shopping is more your thing, you can always find us here or on our Instagram.
Nomad are clearly the go to people for the absolute best boutique drinks brands – so with this in mind we will be offering the opportunity for one lucky DDW reader to WIN a bespoke wooden LE Tribute drinking set complete with tonics, a bottle of LE Tribute Gin AND a bottle of LE Tribute Mezcal. What could be better?!
Simply comment on the IG post here and tag 3 friends you’d like to share a drink with. Good luck and enjoy!!!