Patterson’s: We are seeing more and more Three Olives behind the bar and on retail shelves. We just tasted the classic vodka and all the flavor extensions at last month’s vodka sipumentary and they showed beautifully: each is distinct and delicious. But your appeal goes beyond the flavor line, right? What sets the brand apart?
Dabbelt: White Rock Distilleries insists on using only the highest quality ingredients and we are relentless in searching these out at any cost. We refuse to settle for less than perfect and the results are that Three Olives is considered the best tasting of all the premium vodkas in the US market, across all the flavors.
Patterson’s: Since you do offer such a huge choice of flavors, which expressions of Three Olives flavored vodka would you advise for the first go ‘round at retail or at the bar?
Dabbelt: Due to limited retail shelf space, the 4 types all retailers need to carry are the a.)80 proof, the b.) Cherry, c.) Grape, and d.) Chocolate…but they need to leave room for our new Watermelon and Pomegranate which are coming very soon. These flavors are unique to our brand so it eliminates some of the flavors overlap within the Vodka shelf section. The Raspberry, Green Apple, Vanilla, Citrus and Berry are outstanding as well the Orange which is my personal favorite and continue to grow for us in all states.
Patterson’s: Give us a primer on the brand’s basics: distillation, ingredients, etc.
Dabbelt: Three Olives 80 proof is distilled from English wheat in northern England using very modern techniques and the highest technology available in the world today. Thus the purity of the product is insured along with consistency and reliability of brand. Our production company takes the process further using a special charcoal filtering process to eliminate any remaining impurities thus guaranteeing perfection in each bottle and drink. While Three Olives 80 proof has a unique taste unto itself, it has a wonderful lightness that creates the most outstanding Martinis and also lends itself to combing extremely well with other ingredients.
Patterson’s: Marketing is such an integral part of a brand’s success. Tell us about some of your recent on- and off-premise efforts.
Dabbelt: Recent promotional activity for Three Olives Vodka are created on a state by state basis and include outstanding bar kits, lit bars stands, recipe contests for bartenders, a web site with promotional items for sale, banners and many other promotional pieces for the on premise channel. While we have focused much attention to the on premise sector, we have also invested heavily on the retail side including special display racks, gift sets, and promotional ties in with leading beer brands like Heineken. We are working closely with leading retailers everywhere to help get the message out “ Three Olives vodka is one of the fastest growing imported Vodka brands in the U.S.”, with growth of over 50% again in 2006.