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‘Too many innovations’ blamed for Malibu failure

The launch of “too many” flavoured innovations in recent years have been blamed for the sales decline of Malibu coconut-flavoured rum.

Innovations like Malibu Rum Sparkler have failed to reignite interest in the brand, resulting in a 5% decline

The brand, owned by Pernod Ricard, has seen a 5% sales and volume decline in the last six months, despite the launch of several new product developments designed to reignite demand.

January 2014 saw the launch of Malibu Rum Sparkler, a range of low-alcohol sparkling rum-based drinks designed to fill the daytime party occasion.

Its introduction follows the launch of Malibu Spiced in 2013 which was rolled out alongside a brand redesign, Malibu Swirl and Malibu Sundae also in 2013, Malibu Red in 2012 and Malibu Black in 2011.

But despite the innovative brand extensions, Pernod Ricard CEO Alexandre Ricard admitted the group had pushed the brand too far.

“Rightfully so maybe we can say we have done too many innovations in a short space of time with Malibu Red and Black and Spiced, so now I’d say the focus clearly is the core and our marketing campaign Summer State of Mind, which is performing extremely well,” he said.

Citing Nielsen figures, Ricard claimed the original coconut-flavoured Malibu is still in growth, achieving a 2% sales increase in the US in the first half of its 2014/15 financial year.

He added that the fallout of flavoured vodka in the US could be to blame for Malibu’s failure to regain lost volumes. “Maybe from the flavoured side it is one thing that could explain this,” he said.

“From the innovation front let’s focus on what we now have rather than come up with a new pipeline behind Malibu.”`

The brand currently has 19 expressions available on the market.

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