Barry Geoghegan says DFG’s brand partners are ‘positive for the future’ as they gear up to exhibit at the Summit of the Americas — A Virtual Experience (5-9 April, 2021)

Duty Free Global (DFG) Founder & Commercial Director Barry Geoghegan is never afraid of innovation. And at the upcoming Summit of the Americas — A Virtual Experience, he promises to dazzle Expo visitors with a new suite of travel retail novelties that will appeal to the region’s discerning drinks consumers.

“We need to recognise the elements that make this channel so unique,” says Geoghegan. “We, as suppliers, need to provide the assortment that delivers on this. We also need to ensure that we have an on-trend assortment with targeted brands that have real stories that can engage with consumers.”

Duty Free Global will be highlighting Mob33 Gold Heist Premium Rum, Beau Joie Champagne, Gunpowder Irish Gin, House of Somrus, Death’s Door Gin and RumChata at the pioneering virtual event and Geoghegan is confident that prospects for his brand partners are already looking very positive.

He comments: “Our partners are very positive for the future. They are investing in digital and creating a relevant portfolio for travel retail that is sustainable, authentic and relevant for a younger audience.”

In this interview Barry Geoghegan discusses the crucial role that the wines & spirits category plays in recruiting new travel retail customers and boosting channel recovery. He also underscores the importance of engaging travellers at every point of their journey and outlines key drinks trends in the Americas region.

Finally, he previews what industry stakeholders can expect to see at Duty Free Global’s #Virtual Stand at the upcoming Summit of the Americas — A Virtual Experience.

Gunpowder Plot: The Irish Gin’s distinctive blue bottle and limited-edition releases have made it extraordinarily popular in the US market, says Geoghegan

What brands, launches and campaigns will Duty Free Global emphasise and showcase at the Summit of the Americas – A Virtual Experience?

Mob33 Gold Heist Premium Rum Brand Ambassador Timos Spano will be creating virtual content at the Summit of the Americas

We’ll be showcasing our excellent portfolio of brands including the new Mob33 Gold Heist Premium Rum, Beau Joie Champagne, Gunpowder Irish Gin, House of Somrus, Death’s Door Gin and RumChata.

Mob33 Gold Heist Premium Rum is a blended Caribbean and South American Rum with a dash of the very special Jamaican Funk from Legacy Brands.

Their Portfolio Brand Ambassador Timos Spano, whose cocktail creations are legendary and were on show last year in Cannes, will also be creating some amazing content.

Beau Joie Champagne is a luxury Champagne brand that comes in innovative recycled copper plated packaging.

The brand has Tiësto as its Global Creative Director and has collaborations with American couture house Marchesa. In our opinion, Beau Joie Champagne offers real stand-out appeal in travel retail.

Beau Joie Champagne offers an added element of sustainability and is packaged in recycled copper packaging

Gunpowder Irish Gin — which is distilled at The Shed Distillery in Drumshanbo in Ireland — is doing extraordinarily well in the US market. This is driven by their distinctive blue bottle, limited-edition ceramic bottle and the recently-added Sardinian Citrus Gin expression.

House of Somrus is bringing us on a coffee culture trip across the Americas, with the Sadekar sisters making a welcome return to engage us during our Virtual Coffee Breaks at the Summit of the Americas.

Somrus, which means ‘Nectar of the Gods’ in Sanskrit, is one of the world’s fastest-growing cream liqueur brands

Death’s Door Gin is one of the first American craft gins. It offers three simple botanical mixes that make for an incredibly smooth taste and perfect drinking experience from sipping to cocktails.

I can’t describe the brand better than Death’s Door Gin Vice President of Distilling & Innovation Nick Maas, who said: “The difference between other gins and Death’s Door is like the difference between something that just tastes good versus a life-changing first date.”

RumChata is one of the world’s largest rum cream brands and the second-largest in the USA. RumChata sells over 5 million bottles a year.

From House of Somrus’ incredible coffee breaks to Sazerac de Forge’s showcase of the journey back to Cognac’s roots, Duty Free Global seized the digital opportunity at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo last October. What virtual innovations can we expect to see from Duty Free Global at the Summit of the Americas? 

The House of Somrus is creating a new suite of Somrus coffee breaks with The Sadekar sisters based around the diverse coffee culture of the Americas region at the Knowledge Hub. We have more exciting innovations from our brand partners to be announced soon, so what this space!

In your opinion, what role will the wines and spirits sector play in the recovery of the travel retail channel in 2021 and beyond?

At Duty Free Global, we believe that the wines & spirits sector can offer the consumer truly engaging experiences that can work to recruit a younger generation of consumers into duty free stores. By creating innovative digital assets and working with local operators, the wines & spirits category can communicate with the consumer well in advance of their trip.

Our brand partners are also working on creating exclusive products and novelties that are unique to travel retail and offer a real point of difference and collectability for the consumer.

Death’s Door Gin takes its name from Death’s Door Strait, which was named because of the strong winds and rough waters that caused many shipwrecks in the 1700 and 1800s

Duty Free Global champions distinctive independent wines and spirits brands. How do you see the prospects for your partners in a new consumer world in 2021 and beyond?

Our partners are very positive for the future. They are investing in digital and creating a relevant portfolio for travel retail that is sustainable, authentic and relevant for a younger audience.

How do you think the channel can and should engage with travelling consumers to ensure a sustained recovery?

Travel retail should communicate with customers well in advance of their  journey. We need to ensure low touch options along the journey for tasting/purchasing and ensure that every visit to the airport is a safe and enjoyable experience.

RumChata is sold in over 25 countries across North America, Latin America, Europe and the Caribbean

What wines and spirits trends will influence Americas travel retail in the post-COVID-19 landscape?

We believe that products that are locally-made in the Americas region will be very successful. We are seeing a huge demand for premium and rare American whiskies and bourbons. Giving the consumer access to incredible portfolios from the likes of Sazerac will be a recovery driver as well.

How would you like to see industry partnerships evolve as we enter a new era for travel and travel retail?

We need to recognise the elements that make this channel so unique; and we as suppliers need to provide the assortment that delivers on this. We also need to ensure that we have an on-trend assortment with targeted brands that have real stories that can engage with consumers.

We need to provide travel retail operators with correct margins for the channel, different formats to the domestic market, topped off with exclusive and rare products and curated gifting in store.