Inventory for May 3rd, 2015
Jägermeister becomes America’s new it drink, Cherry Blossom Tonic now a mainstay in Thomas Henry’s range, the BBC sure does love their booze, veggie cocktails are making a splash in London, eight tricks restaurants use to manipulate the customer into spending more, and Bud Light wins fail of the year. All this and more in May’s first inventory!
Next week, on May 10th, the Next Organic fair will take over Berlin’s Tempelhof airport. Visitors can look forward to many different tastings and discussions, as well as a special event organized by the Food Entrepreneurs Club which includes ‘consultation hours’ with experts and three panel discussions.
1) Was Jägermeister ever not Hip?
In the States Jägermeister sales had fallen 5.6% by 2014 and Austin bartender Dion Henderson matter-of-factly told Bloomberg Business, “Jäger is dead.” Esquire writer Aaron Goldfarb has his own complicated history with the digestif but has watched it make a comeback in the last year. Several Manhattan-based craft cocktail bars are adding Jäger to their list, including Amor y Amargo’s Bachelorette cocktail, The Third Man’s Inside Scoop, and Seamstress’ Province.
Sother Teague, beverage directors of Amor y Amargo, thinks he knows why Jägermeister was shunned for so long “Of the five tastes, bitter is the only acquired one. ‘Bitter’ actually registers as poison to us initially. Most of us drink Jäger ice cold. But something ice cold has no aroma and taste is 90% in the aroma. So when you shoot an ice-cold shot of Jäger it bypasses your nose and all you’re left with is a bitter blast on your palate. Your brain’s immediate reaction is, ‘This is poison…and I need to evacuate it.'” Through the right treatment he plans on reintroducing the digestif into the cocktail pantheon.
2) Thomas Henry Cherry Blossom Tonic Here to Stay
Due to its immense popularity Thomas Henry’s Cherry Blossom Tonic is to become a part of the permanent collection. The Berlin-based soda makers created the Cherry Blossom Tonic with spring in mind and it’s the second limited edition to have made the jump into the permanent product range, in 2011 Elderflower Tonic successfully migrated over. Cherry Blossom will be available at any well curated beverage retailers from May onwards.
3) The BBC loves their Booze
The Guardian’s media blog Media Monkey received a tip last week, which detailed exactly how much (and on what) The BBC spent on booze between January 1st and December 31st of 2014. The list broke down over £46,000 spent on on alcohol in detail:
£10,059.75 for red wine
£15,161.25 for white wine
£2,430.82 for sparkling wine
£15,000 for beers, ales and cider
This is what media gossip blogs are made for, too juicy. The BBC quickly released a statement “The BBC sometimes provides hospitality, equating to about £2 per employee per year, at events like press screenings or to programme guests and, on very exceptional occasions, to some staff.”
4) Veggie Cocktails for the Win
Long time coming, the vegetable cocktail. Guardian author Rebecca Smithers gets to the bottom of the quintessentially British garden flavours popping up all over London. Staples such as pea, parsnip, mushroom, and celeriac are found in Jason Atherton’s sky-high City Social bar and specifically in his Pealini, which sounds pretty damn fantastic. A concoction made from salted pea cordial, spearmint, absinthe and prosecco. Several other SoHo and City bars have picked up on the trend, including Duck & Waffle and the Artesian.
The trend makes sense, vegetable juices and smoothies have been gaining in popularity over the past several years and the trend doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. Oskar Kinberg, co-owner of Dabbous, says “There has been an interesting shift in taste. Our customers are definitely getting more experimental and keen to try new combinations, and I think mixologists and bartenders have been keen to reflect the changing palate and offer new flavours.” A much welcome movement which leaves the overly sweet juices behind us.
5) Eight Tricks Restaurants use
That supermarkets use different lighting and colors to trick their customers into spending more time at the shop and thus, spending more, is no secret. Restaurants employ similar tactics and mental floss has listed eight of them. Apparently less is more, as adding more choices will confuse the reader.
The magic number? No more than seven options per course. Tricking your customer into believing he’s not spending money at all is fantastic. No dollar signs, use written out words instead of numbers – all that will make you forget that you are indeed spending hard earned cash. Nostalgia is key, we all know that ‘Grandma’s chicken soup’ isn’t actually made by our own Nonna, and yet it triggers something in us that’s hard to miss. Be aware and find the full list here.
6) Stupid is as Stupid does
Almost too idiotic to write about: as part of its “up for whatever” campaign, last week Bud Light brought out a bottle which proclaimed Bud to be the perfect beer to “remove ‘no’ from your vocabulary”.
Who approved this? In what world does a marketing exec go ‘yes, fantastic idea – a positive message we should encourage in our customers’? Instant backlash on social media made Bud Light stop production on the bottles and issue a half assed apology “The Bud Light Up for Whatever campaign, now in its second year, has inspired millions of consumers to engage with our brand in a positive and light-hearted way. In this spirit, we created more than 140 different scroll messages intended to encourage brand engagement.
It’s clear that this particular message missed the mark, and we regret it.” Missed the mark seems to be the understatement of the year, and it’s only May.