Spirit producers eye spiced rum potential

6th March, 2013 by Becky Paskin - This article is over multiple pages: 1 2 3

Could Captain Morgan’s and Sailor Jerry’s domination of the spiced rum market be coming to an end? Becky Paskin finds that the category’s dynamism is attracting attention from some serious new players.

spiced rum

Spiced rum offers a variety of flavours, and opportunities, for producers

To track the growth of spiced rum you only need look at the flurry of new players falling over themselves to enter the marketplace. Rewind to the noughties and you would have seen just one or two brands on the shelf, brands considered revolutionary and exciting for sailing into uncharted waters.

Nowadays the category is awash with high-profile launches from established brands like Bacardi’s Oakheart, as well as soft, low budget entrances from smaller players in domestic markets spotting the chance to succeed in a burgeoning category. As one of the newest categories in the spirits market, spiced rum is also one of the fastest growing, adding 13% volume over a five-year period to 2011 (IWSR). But much of this volume change has occurred in the past 12 months or so (9% during 2010), for several reasons.

In 2010 Sailor Jerry, which had been on the US market for 10 years and the UK for eight, famously altered its flavour profile. Its British product was a sweeter spiced rum than its US counterpart and, after taste tests, owner William Grant & Sons moved to align the brand globally by swapping the UK version.

The change caused outrage among many British fans who had become used to the taste. Spotting a chance to resolve the upset, and fill a new gap in the category, several brands flew in at once with promises to do what Sailor Jerry no longer could.

“We were asked by major supermarket chains in the UK and France to add a spiced rum to our existing range,” says Chris Lake, UK sales director at Toorank Distilleries, which launched Rebellion Spiced earlier this year. “That’s when we noticed the demand for a sweeter, spicy vanilla flavour as a result of Sailor Jerry changing their flavour profile. It’s the easiest launch we’ve ever had.”

Spiced rum lead
Already launched in the UK, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Poland, Toorank aims to take the Rebellion rum range global, starting next year with Germany, Italy and the US. Already three times ahead of its forecasted volume, Toorank has very achievable plans to own at least 10% of the spiced rum market in the UK within the next five years. High-profile sponsorship of events like the MOBO Awards this year will almost certainly help its cause.

Despite producing a dark and a white rum for around 15 years, Rebellion intends to lead the range into new markets with the spiced variety. The reason, Lake explains, is because both the dark and white categories are already dominated by too many major players.

“White and dark rums in reality are difficult markets because unless you spend a lot of money on advertising, the markets are largely tied up,” he says. “We use the spiced as the lead rum because it’s still such a new and open market. There’s no real brand loyalty yet.”

Diageo spied the potential for its Captain Morgan’s Spiced way back in the 1980s, and is undoubtedly the category leader after playing for so long on its own. The group is hesitant to divulge the exact volume of its spiced variety, although Russell Jones, global brand director for Captain Morgan, claims it is the biggest driver behind the Captain Morgan rum brand’s sales, which grew by over 500,000 cases in the last financial year to hit the major milestone of 10m cases in December 2012.

Leave a Reply

If that's interesting, how about these?

Tanqueray: a brand history

From humble beginnings in London, Tanqueray has grown to be one of the biggest more...

Work starts on Dublin Liberties Distillery

Quintessential Brands has commenced work converting a historic Dublin building more...

Unmissable exhibitors at IAADFS 2017

For the final IAADFS Duty Free Show of the Americas in its current form, taking more...

Baileys makes Almande vegan-friendly

After demand from the vegan community, Diageo has removed beeswax from its more...

Captain Morgan rum launches coconut shot

Diageo-owned Captain Morgan is aiming to enhance its presence in the shots more...

Jack Daniel's rolls out Southern Peach RTD

Jack Daniel’s has partnered with R&B singer K Michelle to introduce a new more...

Sidney Frank rebrands as Mast-Jägermeister US

Sidney Frank Importing Company has changed its name to Mast-Jägermeister US more...

Fever-Tree celebrates 'exceptional' FY results

Premium tonic and mixer brand Fever-Tree has hailed an "exceptional year of more...

Deep Eddy Vodka hits one million case sales

Heaven Hill Brands-owned Deep Eddy Vodka has exceeded one million annual case more...

SB Voices: A new age of gastronomic spirits?

As the 'molecular mixology' trend gains traction, are we about to see more...

Turin Vermouth and Caporale host Singapore masterclass

Noted bartender Simone Caporale has led a Turin Vermouth trade masterclass at more...

Baijiu category beats whisky on value

The global baijiu category has overtaken whisky to become the most valuable more...

Rum's renaissance 'a complex picture of growth'

Rum might be the last spirit category to truly go premium, but there’s more...

Jim Beam intros cocktail experience

Jim Beam has upped its Bourbon tastings with the launch of a Tableside Cocktail more...

Southern Glazer’s hires Redell for Campari brands

US drinks distribution company Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits has appointed more...

Diageo unveils 'industry first' e-learning tool

Diageo has launched a new e-learning tool on its responsible drinking website more...

Burleighs launches Leicester Dry Gin

UK gin producer Burleighs is set to launch a new variant in homage to the city more...

Breakthru Beverage restructures leadership team

Breakthru Beverage Group has announced a new leadership structure for its more...

Adnams hails 66% spirits volume growth

Suffolk-based brewer, distiller and retailer Adnams witnessed 66% volume sales more...

Distell and Stock Spirits ink UK distribution deal

Central and Eastern European producer Stock Spirits has expanded its more...