By SAM BUTLER
Dram in a Can from Two Stacks Whiskey is among 12 high-class finalists named for The QDF Factor, an extraordinary industry competition to encourage innovation and creativity among brands which will offer the winner a six-month listing at Qatar Duty Free’s award-winning retail offer at Hamad International Airport in Doha.
The winner will also win a free six-month US$50,000 multi-media advertising campaign with The Moodie Davitt Report, an influential business to business publication and digital information channel with a global readership.
Dram in Can by Two Stacks was selected by the expert judges as “a young company, determined to lead the new renaissance revival of Irish whiskey. Dram in a Can is an intriguingly disruptive new product”.
Launched in the US in March, Dram in a Can is the first Irish whiskey in a can.
It uses 86-proof whiskey produced by Killowen Distillery in the picturesque Mourne Mountains near Newry in County Down.
The whiskey is described as “a complex blend of light and dark grain, pot still whiskey, and peated malt”.
The competition is a joint initiative between Qatar Duty Free and The Moodie Davitt Report, which attracted a rich and diverse array of entries. The short-list was announced at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo in advance of a ceremony on Friday that will reveal the ultimate winner.
Qatar Duty Free vice president Operations Thabet Musleh and The Moodie Davitt founder and chairman Martin Moodie announced the 12 exceptional brands and concepts during the final Knowledge Hub session at the Virtual Expo.
Shane McCarthy, managing director of Two Stacks, says: “We are excited to have made the shortlist with Dram in a Can in such a prestigious competition in the Middle East, highlighting innovation and creativity in the international travel retail space.
“It will help to increase awareness of the unique product and our range of whiskeys,” he adds.
Other listed products include premium tea, a single malt Scotch whiskey, gin, skincare, Belgian premium chocolate and fine wines.
Martin Moodie said that he and Thabet Musleh were delighted with the number and quality of The QDF Factor entrants.
“A common theme,” he added, “was Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), in particular around sustainability and giving back to society and we were very encouraged by that.
“Our final line-up stood out by the way they specifically addressed the judging criteria, tailored their entries to the needs of Qatar Duty Free, and for their overall quality, point of difference and commercial viability in what is a unique travel retail location.”
The Moodie Davitt Report has introduced complementary advertising and editorial exposure for every nominee, another important boost for Dram in a Can.
Musleh also noted the great number of entries across a range of categories: “Once again we have been really impressed with the quality and innovation of all the concepts that have been submitted.
“This year the entries have reflected the increased focus in travel retail on CSR at the moment with many products being vegan, sustainably sourced or supporting charitable causes and the environment. We had a very tough time shortlisting our finalists.”
The QDF Factor was first hosted in 2020 at the Virtual Travel Retail Expo. It is open to all brands, both within and outside the travel retail channel.