In 2023, Campari Australia enjoyed a year of enormous positives. Still basking in the post-Covid glow, Managing Director Simon Durrant says the company has experienced its biggest year ever in terms of sales performance. 

“The real highlight of 2023 for us was Aperol in a post-pandemic world, with consumers back into retail and experiencing Aperol again. We saw rapid uptake, and we’re looking forward to continuing to build on this momentum through our summer program. 

“Wild Turkey had a strong year thanks to the continued support from all our customers despite some previous supply issues and we’ll continue to build on this in 2024 through our successful music platform. We’re also excited to be riding the wave of tequila through our core tequila brand Espolon.” 

Looking back at 2023, Durrant reflected on two major releases for Campari Australia, Howler Head Bourbon Whiskey, which has found success among the UFC community, and the Wild Turkey Master’s Keep premium range.  

Future focus 

Brand building and heritage remain a key focus across Campari Australia’s portfolio this year, setting out to attract consumer attention through engaging activations that help customers stay ahead. 

Maintaining the momentum around Wild Turkey, Durrant told National Liquor News that investment has been allocated to cement the Music 101 campaign and to build on the brand’s authenticity through a special release.  

“In 2024, we’ve got a very special Wild Turkey initiative called Generations, which features all three of the Russell family for the first time, producing a limited batch.” 

As the Australian Open official partner for the next four years, Durrant believes Aperol is looking at its biggest year yet, and agave spirits will share the spotlight. 

“Tequila is establishing itself as more than just shot culture, moving into sipping and premium tequilas. We’ll be building on our existing portfolio of Espolon with Montelobos and Ancho Reyes and there may be more work that we do in tequila.” 

Durrant says the growth of Skyy Vodka will continue through premium packaging, and Campari Australia will soon announce new ways of innovating in the RTD space. 

Beyond brand development, Durrant says Campari Australia will capitalise on the rising popularity of the at-home cocktail culture. 

“The great thing coming out of the pandemic was the demystification of cocktails, with consumers realising that they can make an Aperol Spritz or a classic margarita at home. This trend will continue throughout 2024.” 

Sustainability also remains key to Campari’s future.  

“We’ve done some important work at our Derrimut facility to reduce our energy and water usage by more than 15 per cent, our solar electricity installation is underway, and our recent recycling initiatives have shaved our waste to landfill by over 25 per cent. These are all important measures to ensure we continue to reduce our carbon footprint,” says Durrant. 

Having successfully re-engaged customers in 2023, Durrant hopes to keep pace with retail partners in the year ahead. 

“A real thank you for your support and recognition in 2023, it means a lot to us after the challenges that we faced. We look forward to partnering with all retailers and building greater relationships and greater collaborations into 2024.” 

This article originally appeared in the 2024 Leaders Forum issue of National Liquor News.

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