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Serving Whiskey

Welcome to the TR GO for GOLD Spirits category award feature

On behalf of the TR GO for GOLD awards team, we would like to thank you in advance of submitting your award entry for the fashion category. We fully appreciate the time and effort that goes into creating a successful awards entry, and that is why we have made the TR GO for GOLD awards value added in terms of; being able to use your entry as a marketing document, for benchmarking purposes, for recognition of excellence and best practice and of course business growth.

You probably know by now that these awards are split into product categories and there is an award 'Above and Beyond' which recognises those who work tirelessly to ensure the success of the products sold within Travel Retail.

To build industry confidence in the TR GO for GOLD awards we recruited TR industry and category experts to work with us to create our "Guides to Gold', (an invaluable document for all entries) the judging criteria and of course, actually judging the entries. It was an honour when Kristian Sherry agreed to join our esteemed team of experts.

All About TR Spirits

The Spirits category has long been a major contributor to Travel Retail by its very nature it attracts steep duties. Even in settings where duty free pricing isn’t applicable, creativity from brands is driving genuine innovation and differentiation through channel-exclusive line extensions. The sensory nature of spirits they engage sight, smell, taste and touch - means the category breathes life into GTR through immersive activations. In addition, the brand elevation brings a sense of luxury to the travelling experience. There is a growing demand for premium and exclusive products across all Spirit categories, especially in whiskey, rum and tequila. With an increasing share of Travel Retail exclusives consumers can buy and experience products that they can’t buy anywhere else. This is a main purchase driver. Important other purchasing drivers are not only gifting, but also self-consumption and sharing.

In the last ten years, the biggest brands have started to operate single-brand boutiques, elevating the perceptions of the entire category. There remains space for smaller suppliers which can offer a remarkable sense of place in their local airports.

Many retailers’ merchandise by sub-category to ease navigation, but increasingly cross-category promotions for example - as a result of brand partnerships with fashion or fine foods that can bring theatre into the Travel Retail space. Education / brand ambassadors at the point of sale and exchange at eye level are important as consumer knowledge is rapidly increasing and consumers are looking for the special experience and product. While there are challenges (regulatory and that an increasing number of consumers are choosing not to drink or drink less but better) these are fuelling further innovation in the sector. Brands and retailers use sight, touch and smell to convey flavour profiles.

The Spirits category is trend-driven, ever-changing, and thoroughly dynamic.

Spirits collaborator & judge:
Kristiane Sherry

Kristiane Sherry is a spirits writer, educator and consultant. Her career has seen her lead the creative content team at multi-award-winning ecommerce site Master of Malt, edit The Spirits Business magazine, and serve as Head of Brand at luxury wine and spirits platform FINE+RARE. Before all that, she fell in love with whisky while working in travel retail publishing, a channel she loves and is delighted to be working within again with GO for GOLD. Today she is an accredited WSET Spirits Educator, and is passionate about spirits communication and education through writing, journalism, training, tastings, and social media.

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