Canadian Club & the Canadian Whisky Renaissance


For Immediate Release Canadian Club launches breakthrough innovations to propel growthIconic brand readies for the Canadian whisky renaissance Toronto, ON (April 11, 2012): For decades, Canadian whisky was the number one spirit enjoyed in this country and also one of the nation’s top exports. In the current era of globalized markets and as the masses fully embrace beverage alcohol as a lifestyle product, the spirits landscape in Canada has grown to offer more consumer choice than ever before. For the iconic Canadian Club® brand (C.C.®), 2012 marks the beginning of a renaissance as it introduces exciting new innovations to fuel growth in the Canadian whisky category.Leveraging its more than 150-year heritage and hallmarks of quality, versatility and mixability, C.C. is bringing innovations to market that are in-step with the evolving lifestyles and sophisticated palates of Canadians today. Beginning this spring, two new brand extensions will arrive on shelves in select provinces: Canadian Club Dock No. 57 flavoured Canadian whisky and C.C. Mixed & Ready, a line of ready-to-drink Canadian whisky beverages.The brand is poised to capitalize on recent growth trends in ready-to-drink and flavoured spirits that are giving Canadian whisky a boost and helping to open the door to new consumers – namely younger adults and women - while bartenders are also coming to value flavoured spirits for cocktails.Investing in the Canadian Club brand through innovation and marketing is top priority for Beam Canada – the maker of Canadian Club. Beam has answered a call to action issued by Spirits Canada in 2010 when it assembled Canadian distillers with a goal to unite and reinvigorate the category.“As Canadians, we are deeply connected to the Canadian Club brand – it’s been part of our national fabric since before Confederation and generations of spirits lovers have made C.C. memories over the years. So, we’re committed to evolving this brand just as spirits drinkers are evolving,” says Cheryl Hudson, Marketing Manager, Canadian Club. “With Canadian Club Premium whisky at the core, C.C. Dock No. 57 and C.C. Mixed & Ready are innovations that give consumers bold spice and flavour and refreshment and convenience, respectively.”Trends that fuel innovation: historical dramas and classic cocktailsThanks to the success of historical dramas like HBO’s Prohibition-era Boardwalk Empire and AMC’s Mad Men (featuring the inimitable Don Draper), Canadian Club’s authentic role in history has moved into modern day popular culture. Add to that a classic cocktail revival in the world of mixology and the trademark characteristics of aged Canadian whisky brands like C.C. – namely, smoothness, mixability and versatility  - have increased in profile and prominence.“Canadian Club’s smooth taste profile makes it extremely quaffable neat or on ice and highly cocktail friendly, especially in classics like the Manhattan,” says Tish Harcus, Canadian Club Brand Ambassador and curator of the historical archives at the C.C. heritage centre in Walkerville, Ontario. “C.C.’s new innovations will take the brand to the next level both for consumers new to whisky and more seasoned whisky drinkers who are seeking bolder flavour profiles and some spice.”With younger audiences embracing “what is old is new again” and being exposed to new innovations in flavours and ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails, brands like C.C. with strong equity and heritage are coming back in a big way.RTDs in particular rose in volume by almost 4 per cent globally in 2011 over 2010. These products are all about convenience, particularly important during a time of economic slowdown when on-premise consumption has declined in markets like North America.“RTDs address both the growth of cocktail culture and popularity of take-home consumption,” says Hudson. “They are easy to serve and help broaden the category to more occasions, ones that were typically dominated by beer.”Canadian Club Dock No. 57:With a nod to Canadian Club’s roots in Prohibition adventure, Canadian Club Dock No. 57 Spiced and Canadian Club Dock No. 57 Blackberry infuse spice and flavour respectively, with the classic smooth character of Canadian Club. Dock No. 57 Spiced is a Canadian whisky take on a trend that has captured the imaginations of rum drinkers over the past decade while Dock No. 57 Blackberry offers a unique new fruit flavour profile in the brown spirits category.Dock No. 57 was inspired by the historic Prohibition era shipping dock where Canadian Club’s export manager Bill “The Real” McCoy shipped the Canadian Club whisky that quenched the thirst of Americans during the dry years.Both flavours will be available in select provinces for approximately $26.00 to $28.00 (750 mL) beginning this spring. C.C. Mixed & Ready:Canadian Club’s new C.C. Mixed & Ready is designed to expand Canadian whisky into the ready-to-drink market and capture interest from consumers who are new to the world of whisky.The brand focused on the most popular mixes – Ginger Ale and Cola – to create a convenient, refreshing ready-to-drink option that also offers an alternative to beer.The product was test-marketed in Alberta in 2011, selling over 13,000 nine-litre cases and satisfying consumer demand for convenience and refreshment. Now available in Ontario and Alberta, C.C. Mixed & Ready is available in 473 mL cans for approximately $2.95 and 355 mL 6-packs for approximately $12.95.Canadian Club Dock No. 57 Spiced is reviewed here.