Graham Nicolson, Sales Director at Tomatin introduces the brand to APTRA members
Founded in 1897 near Inverness in the beautiful Highlands of Scotland, the Tomatin Distillery Company produces and markets Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Japanese-owned since 1986, Tomatin is a multi-award winning distillery which exports to over 60 markets worldwide.
Launched in travel retail in 2017, the company focused initially on Europe and is now pushing into Asia.
“We look upon Asia Pacific as a region of huge potential and high growth for Single Malt,” commented Graham Nicolson, Sales Director at Tomatin. “We produce a luxury product and see the demand for aged whisky in the region as being key to the continued growth of our company. We have a great domestic presence in certain Asian markets and the next logical step is to offer high-quality SKUs in the travel retail sector.”
Tomatin’s core offering includes a wide range of high-quality Scotch whisky from 8-year-olds to 40-year-olds, with the possibility to offer older aged specialist bottlings further down the line.
“We offer age statements on our travel retail range, which not many of our competitors can do,” explained Nicolson. “We can also offer high-quality single cask bottlings, and again this is not something you can find readily available.”
Catering to diverse markets
“Our 8 year old offers great value for money with an easy drinking style up to our more elegant and premium 40 year old for the more discerning consumer,” continued Nicolson. “Our domestic range is making huge inroads in the Chinese, Japanese and Malaysian markets and, in each of these different markets, we seem to be enjoyed by completely different types of drinkers. In Japan our whisky is enjoyed by the masses in the traditional highball style; in Malaysia, it is the other end of the market – the more premium side and older ages of whisky; in China, it is the appeal of the single casks for the more knowledgeable consumer which is giving us traction.”
Tomatin considers APTRA membership as the key to learning as much as possible about the Asian travel retail sector. “The quality research and networking capability that APTRA brings was the initial benefit in joining, but we can see the advocacy service as being very important as we progress. Having the association be the ones to understand and liaise on the industry’s behalf about local government policy and regulations which could affect our business is key support, which then enables the business to concentrate on our products and proposition ” said Nicolson.
“Being involved in the current Brexit situation in the UK, we can see first-hand what uncertainty brings,” he continued. “We can definitely see the issues of labelling and packaging restrictions being a looming issue which will cause uncertainty in new product development.
We are very happy to have become a member of APTRA this year and we look forward to our growth story across Asia Pacific.