magic starSummarize by Aili

In 1973, I invented a ‘girly drink’ called Baileys

🌈 Abstract

The article tells the story behind the creation of Baileys Irish Cream, a popular Irish cream liqueur. It covers the initial idea, the development process, the challenges faced, and the eventual success of the product.

🙋 Q&A

[01] The Initial Idea

1. What was the initial idea behind creating Baileys Irish Cream? The initial idea came from Hugh Reade Seymour-Davies, who suggested mixing Irish whiskey and cream. The author, David Gluckman, was excited by the idea and they decided to try it out.

2. How did they come up with the name "Baileys"? The name "Baileys" was inspired by a dairy in Port Elizabeth, South Africa that the author remembered from his youth. However, this turned out to be a fabrication, as his mother later confirmed there was no such dairy.

3. What were some of the early challenges they faced in developing the product? Early challenges included:

  • The technical team at IDV initially disliked the taste of the initial mixture of Irish whiskey and cream.
  • The market research conducted was not very encouraging, with focus groups describing it as a "girl's drink" and likening it to medicine.
  • They struggled to find an appropriate bottle design, eventually repurposing an existing Irish whiskey bottle.

[02] The Launch and Success

1. How was the product received when it was first pitched to the Irish team at Gilbeys? The Irish team at Gilbeys responded enthusiastically to the Baileys pitch. They handled the product respectfully and even made some refinements to it, such as removing the word "chocolate" from the description.

2. What factors contributed to the eventual success of Baileys? Several factors contributed to the success of Baileys:

  • The Irish government was providing subsidies for brands exported to new markets, which helped Gilbeys.
  • Gilbeys was able to source the cream for Baileys from its own parent company's dairy division, providing a vertically integrated supply.
  • The product gained popularity in Australia, which helped drive global demand.
  • Despite initial skepticism, Baileys went on to become the biggest selling liqueur in the US and the rest of the world.

3. How did the success of Baileys impact the original creators, Gluckman and Seymour-Davies? The article notes that the original creators were not heavily involved in the ongoing success of Baileys. They were paid a one-time fee of around £3,000 for the development, and the brand's ownership and marketing was taken over by the Gilbeys team in Ireland.


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