It’s not quite selling snow to Eskimos, but South African liquor giant KWV is attempting something similar as it takes on the British market – the home of gin – with an African boutique gin brand.
Cruxland Gin, a product that is infused with signature botanicals including Kalahari N’abbas, was launched this month in the UK and is being sold through major retail chains such as Morrisons, which has 400 outlets nationwide.
N’abbas is a species of truffle indigenous to the Kalahari Desert and Namibia. They only grow for a short time after the first rains of the season and it is said that only a highly experienced ‘truffle hunter’ can find the right location to dig for them.
“It is not something consumers will find in any other drink, anywhere in the world,” KWV claims in a media statement. The company adds that a product development team took three years to create the gin from botanicals typical to Southern Africa.
This provides a distinctive point of appeal, notes Anneke Mackenzie, KWV’s Global Portfolio Manager for Spirits. “Experts say the gin revival has been sparked by unusual flavours and launches of small [product] batches, which are adding vitality to the category and the re-emergence of a cocktail culture.”
Mackenzie claims Cruxland offers gin consumers something that is unique and, more importantly, something that has a ‘taste of origin’. “[In South Africa] the response has been phenomenal and we are happy to report that the introduction to the UK market is showing signs of equal interest.”
The product was introduced to the UK liquor trade, media and other influencers through an event at the Whistling Stop, a trendy gin and cocktail bar in London.