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Rum Brand Champion 2020: Bacardi

Flavoured line extensions and marketing campaigns helped Bacardi boost its sales in 2019

After recording its first volume growth for five years in 2018, Bacardi continued its positive momentum into 2019 to be named Rum Brand Champion for a second year running. “Last year, we saw growth in every region across the board,” says Ned Duggan, the firm’s global senior vice president. Bacardi grew volumes by 3.9% to reach 17.8 million nine‐litre cases in 2019, which Duggan says was boosted by the brand’s evolving marketing strategy and its “innovations in the flavoured and premium rum segments”.

The brand’s new strategy appears to be paying off, as initiatives such as the Do What Moves You campaign and new flavoured bottlings, including a coconut‐flavoured variant, helped Bacardi buck the trend of falling global rum sales. According to figures from Euromonitor International, rum’s global volume sales dipped by 0.4% in 2019.

“Bacardi’s flavoured rums have been a very vibrant area of our portfolio over the past few years,” says Duggan. “In 2019 we introduced Bacardi Lime in the US and Mexico, and Bacardi Ginger in the UK, while we continued to expand some of our rapidly growing flavours. Consumers’ appetite for flavoured spirits continues to grow, not just in rum but in many categories. We see our flavoured rums as an ongoing opportunity to innovate and bring new consumers into the Bacardi franchise.”

As Bacardi looks to continue its growth, Duggan says emerging markets such as China and India could fuel future expansion, while the US remains a “must win” market for the brand.

He says: “Bacardi rum is back in growth in this critical market and has also seen a turnaround in key western European markets like the UK, Germany and Spain. As a private, family‐owned company, our focus has always been on the long term, so as we look forward, emerging markets like India and China will play an increasingly important role in Bacardi’s global growth strategy.”

Despite many positives for the brand, Duggan says it still faces challenges in the coming years, especially as rum strives to shed its A reputation as “a low‐quality spirit only to be consumed with cola, or while on vacation”.

Thankfully, attitudes to rum do appear to be changing. A survey by Bacardi in February this year found that bartenders believe dark rum is the spirit most likely to premiumise in 2020. The research was released as part of the Bacardi 2020 Cocktail Trends Report.

Duggan says: “With the successful launch of our premium portfolio two years ago, this remains a key differentiator for Bacardi. As the leader in rum around the globe, we’ll continue to have a focus on lifting up the entire category.”

Elsewhere in the sector, Tanduay grew sales by 2% to reach 20.5 nine‐litre cases. The sector’s fastest‐growing brand this year was Old Port Rum from Amrut Distillers, which saw its sales rise by 35.1%. Stock Spirits also saw growth for its Božkov rum, which increased by 23.3% to reach 1.6m nine‐litre cases.

Fortunes were less positive for Barceló, Contessa, McDowell’s No.1 Rum and Appleton, which each saw sales decrease last year.

*The Brand Champions data is listed to one decimal place for ease of reading, but the percentage changes are based on the full data supplied. All brand data is supplied in millions of nine-­litre cases.

Rum (figures: million 9l case sales)

BRAND OWNER 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 %+/-
Tanduay Tanduay Distillers 16.5 16.6 19.5 20.1 20.5 2.0%
Bacardí Bacardí 17.4 17.2 16.8 17.1 17.8 3.9%
Captain Morgan Diageo 10.3 10.7 11.7 11.7 11.9 1.9%
McDowell’s No.1 Rum United Spirits 17.2 15.7 12.3 11.2 10.8 -3.5%
Havana Club Pernod Ricard 4.0 4.2 4.5 4.6 4.6 -0.4%
Barceló Ron Barceló 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.2 2.1 -6.8%
Old Port Rum Amrut Distillers 1.9 1.7 1.3 1.3 1.8 35.1%
Božkov Stock Spirits Group 1.2 1.1 1.1 1.3 1.6 23.3%
Contessa Radico Khaitan 2.7 2.0 1.8 1.6 1.5 -4.8%
Appleton Estate (including J Wray) Campari Group 1.3 1.2 1.2 1.1 1.1 -2.7%
Negrita La Martiniquaise‐Bardinet 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 3.0%

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