The Americas March 2020 Duty Free & Travel Retailing

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MONARQ’s sustainable mission Leading drinks distributor and marketer, MONARQ Group, talks consumer needs, premium brands and climate change by LAURA SHIRK


escribed as a one-stop shop for alcoholic beverages distribution and marketing in the Americas, MONARQ Group is continuing to introduce innovative concepts that focus on evolving consumer needs and sustainable brand equity. Priding itself on being ahead of the curve, a core value of the company is what it calls “spexcution”: speed in execution. Last year, MONARQ entered into a regional distribution partnership with Brown-Forman, and the group now represents the US liquor giant’s portfolio on 16 Caribbean islands. Looking to expand on MONARQ’s corporate philosophy of building premium drink brands in the region, the goal of the partnership is to firmly establish Jack Daniel’s as the brand of choice in these markets – both in domestic and duty free retail. Defining Jack Daniel’s as a truly authentic Tennessee whiskey, the team notes that the brand perfectly coincides with its DNA. Along with recently introducing Jack Rye to the markets, MONARQ is scheduled to launch Jack Apple in the coming months. Continuing to report a successful year, the company experienced double-digit growth with the Heineken brand in 2019. MONARQ says distribution expansion and in-store activations with a number of new duty free retail accounts (mostly at borders and ports) serve as contributing factors behind the significant growth. Coming up, the team will introduce Mexican beers, Dos Equis and Sol to the region’s duty free channel. Although MONARQ is working with Heineken to introduce Heineken 0.0 and further explore the low/no alcohol trend, the company is currently expanding its portfolio into the ready-to-drink (RTD) category. Top of the list is Bravazzi Hard

Italian Soda and Rosé Spritz, a blend of Californian rose wine, sparkling water and natural flavors. In addition to the liquid, the packaging of both products is designed to appeal to the millennial consumer. Tapping into the demand for premium non-alcoholic craft beverages (an alternative to “drink when you are not drinking”), the company added Bundaberg Brewed Drinks to the mix. Based in Australia, Bundaberg completes its premium spirits portfolio by offering a range of all-natural, GMO-free and wellbalanced mixers. With many of MONARQ’s consumers located in the Caribbean, the group is concerned about the intensification and impact of the catastrophic hurricane season. Due to the effects of climate change, it’s expected that business partners and their friends and families will continue to suffer. With this in mind, MONARQ obtained its carbon neutral footprint through Climate Neutral Group as a first step in the group’s contribution to reduce climate change. The carbon emissions that MONARQ produces will be compensated and


invested in emission reduction projects, which combine energy, environment and developmental solutions into sustainable business opportunities in developing countries. This coming year, MONARQ will compensate its CO2 emissions by contributing to the Rio Preto-Jacundá Extractivist Reserve (RESEX) in Brazil. This is a REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) project. “REDD+ is a voluntary climate change mitigation approach, designed to incentivize developing countries to halt deforestation. In addition, the mechanism can help fight poverty while conserving biodiversity and sustaining vital ecosystem services,” says Nicoline van Woerkum, International Marketing Manager – Drinks Distribution & Marketing Group, MONARQ. Determining to work not only for the present, but also for the future, MONARQ is invested in striving to be a responsible company and play its part as climate change and other environmental issues take center stage on a global scale.

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