According to International Wine and Spirits Research, an alcoholic beverage market intelligence group, The Philippines is the largest gin market globally, with approximately 22 million cases consumed per year.
With this in mind, the next generation Tan’s of Tanduay Distillers, Inc. is carving up a slice of the Philippine’s gin market by innovating a new product dubbed as Ginto. Poised as a first-of-its-kind gin aged in oak barrels, Ginto has a golden amber shade with hints of citrus, juniper, and berry with wood notes in its flavor.
Now at the helm of Tanduay–Lucio Tan III, President & Chief Operating Officer, and Kyle Tan, Executive Vice President—are both optimistic that Ginto will give Tanduay a unique position in the country’s lucrative gin industry.
“Gin continues to be a popular choice among Filipinos. [With Ginto], we offer the market a fresh twist on a classic drink, a cross-category oak barrel-aged gin blended in the same gold standard of craftsmanship. But, most importantly, we’re making it available to consumers at a value price point,” says Lucio.
Lucio Tan III assumed the role of President & COO at Tanduay in 2020. He has a strong background in engineering and technology, with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s degree in Computer Science from Stanford University. He worked as a software engineer at Lyft in the Bay Area, San Francisco, before coming home to the Philippines to head Tanduay.
During Lucio’s university days, he received the Stanford University Frederick E. Terman Award, a recognition given to the top 5 percent of Stanford University engineering undergraduates. Apart from heading Tanduay, he is also a director at the LT Group and Philippine Airlines.
Ginto is now available in Luzon, where there is a high concentration of the gin market. The Greater Manila Area alone accounts for 94.9 percent of its market value in 2017.
“We are expanding our spirits portfolio with a mix of traditional favorites and new product concoctions like Ginto. We are also making our products accessible to consumers by strengthening marketing efforts in existing distribution channels while expanding our reach to new territories,” Lucio shares.
Tanduay’s barrel-aging facilities house 200,000 oak barrels with a capacity of approximately 40 million gauge liters—a key competitive advantage that will take 25 years for other companies to replicate.
Barrel-aging gin gives it a classic aged spirit flavor like caramel, oak, vanilla, and smoke. If the barrels were previously used for other spirits, the gin also takes the flavor of that spirit.
“Our research and development team (R&D) has been our innovation engine. In developing this product, they have led us to realize that gin can produce various flavors when aged in oak barrels. This is what makes us excited about the potential of this new product,” the President & COO adds.
For Ginto, its barrel-aging process translates to its distinct taste—hints of citrus, juniper, and berry with wood notes. This also contributes to its golden amber color, which is reminiscent of the Philippines’ golden sunsets.
Tanduay’s R&D team describes it best as a wood-kissed, juniper-forward gin with hints of citrus flavors. However, the lightness of gin remains to be the dominant experience once you’ve tasted it. The nuttiness created by the oak-aging process shines through only because gin has a naturally light body.
“We want to give the gold standard experience to Filipino gin drinkers. But, of course, it takes courage to offer something new, especially in the local market where brand love is strong. But somehow, you have to try and offer a new taste for them to realize that Gold (Ginto) is better than silver,” Kyle shares.
Kyle Tan was a software engineer at Microsoft before becoming the Executive Vice President of Tanduay. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Southern California, where he also finished his Master’s degree in Computer Science.
Like any other Tanduay product, Ginto is made from quality ingredients sourced locally and underwent strict control checks to ensure that customers enjoy the same proudly Philippine-made product wherever they are.
Tanduay Ginto retails at P125 for 600ml and is available in leading grocery stores nationwide. It is also available in Tanduay Rhum PH’s official store in Lazada, Shopee and www.shots.ph.
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