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De Kuyper ups cocktail ambition with new coffee liqueur

Dutch spirits group De Kuyper has increased its efforts to ‘own the cocktail’ with the launch of a new coffee liqueur brand, called Bébo.

Bébo is De Kuyper’s new coffee liqueur

Bébo is made with 100% Arabica Cuban coffee that has been cultivated and hand-picked by co-operatives in the mountains of the Sierra Maestra.

The liqueur, which does not contain any artificial colours or caramel, is named after Club Bébo, a secret underground club in Havana. Bébo was officially launched at Bar Convent Berlin (BCB) last month.

Mark de Witte, CEO of De Kuyper, said his team worked on developing the recipe for about a year and a half as part of De Kuyper’s ‘own the cocktail’ strategy, which has seen the group acquire and develop new brands, expressions and marketing campaigns to suit cocktail trends.

“We want to ‘own the cocktail’ – when people think about cocktails, we want them to think about De Kuyper, not necessarily just the brands that we bring to the market, but also the education, the support we offer for bartenders,” he said.

“We want to focus on what the relevant cocktails are now and in the future.”

After commissioning market research, De Kuyper identified the Espresso Martini as an important cocktail trend, and so developed Bébo to be specifically used in the serve.

“We looked at whether we could create a product that really has the aim of producing a great Espresso Martini, so the liquid for Bébo has been deliberately made with that in mind,” said de Witte.

According to figures quoted by De Kuyper, 650,000 nine-litre cases of coffee liqueur were sold in Germany last year, and 1.3m cases in the US.

Last month, De Kuyper acquired the Cherry Heering Liqueur and Heering Coffee Liqueur brands for an undisclosed sum, partly due to the former’s use in the Singapore Sling and Blood and Sand cocktails.

As a continuation of its mission to ‘own the cocktail’, De Kuyper will unveil new innovations within its namesake range of liqueurs next year.

“These will be a couple of really serious innovations – not just another flavour or packaging, but much more,” de Witte added.

The CEO also said De Kuyper will now focus on “building the brands we have already” and acquisitions are not its “highest priority”.

However, de Witte also claimed that he would like De Kuyper – whose portfolio includes the Peachtree, Rutte Gin and Jenever and Mandarine Napoléon brands – to have a broader presence in premium spirits outside of liqueurs.

“I would love to also have more premium spirits,” he said. “We have been overly investing for growth in the Rutte brand, and I would love to have more premium spirits.

“But we probably won’t enter whisky or Tequila as we need to always find areas in which we can win. There are other areas in cocktails where we can play a serious role.”

Mark de Witte, CEO of De Kuyper

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