rum; mojito

Premium rum tipped to be the next big thing

August 14, 2019
By Alana House

A “rumolution” is predicted be on its way and drinks giants are jostling to add premium rum brands to their portfolios.

Experts say premium rum could be the ‘next gin’, and the results from the recent IWSC competition reflect that the popularity and quality of the spirit is increasing.

For 2019, five rums were awarded the Gold Outstanding medal by the IWSC, which is three more than 2018, demonstrating a growth in quality.

Davide Campari-Milano SpA has entered into exclusive negotiations to acquire the French company Rhumantilles SAS, owner of 96.5% of the Martinique based company Bellonnie & Bourdillon Successeurs.

Trois Rivieres rum

Bellonnie & Bourdillon Successeurs is the owner of Trois Rivières and Maison La Mauny, strategic premium brands with a strong presence in France and potential for international growth, as well as Duquesne, a brand designed for the local market.

The company said in a statement: “With this contemplated acquisition Campari Group will have an opportunity to add prestigious Rhum agricole brands to its offering and enhance its exposure to rum, a premiumising category currently at the heart of the mixology trend and growing cocktail culture.”

Edward Mundy, a Jefferies analyst in London, said in a note on Monday: “We see potential for the category to become hot and trendy, and for rum’s reputation as a refined spirit to be regained.”

Mundy said the UK was experiencing “gin fatigue”, leading to renewed interest in premium rum, due to the drink’s sweet taste profile, its affordability and its suitability for mixing in cocktails.

He added that Campari “has a strong track record of buying dusty unloved assets, reinvesting and revitalising them”.

Santiago de Cuba rum

Meanwhile, a European subsidiary of Diageo has signed a joint venture deal with Cuba Ron SA to market Santiago de Cuba Rum.

The new 50-50 venture between Diageo and Ron Santiago SA, will involve exclusive international rights to the premium brand, considered the best by local residents along with Havana Club.

Diageo noted: Globally, premium and above rum segments are growing ahead of the category overall, with premiumisation trends driving growth. Over the past four years, premium and above rum retail sales value has grown 12%, whilst overall category growth was 3%.  Cuban rum brands account for 9% of the retail sales value of this growing segment globally.  The premium plus rum segment in Europe, the key market for development of the Santiago de Cuba brand, is growing at 16%, ahead of luxury spirits, at 9%.”

Dayalan Nayager, Managing Director, Diageo GB, Ireland and France, added: “The joint venture with Corporación Cuba Ron is in keeping with our strategy to invest behind growth opportunities in premium and above brands.  Consumers are looking for new and authentic experiences and working with Corporación Cuba Ron provides a great opportunity to expand our portfolio in segments of the rum category whose growth is being driven by premiumisation globally and in Europe.”

The world’s top 10 biggest selling rums according to the Spirits Business Brand Champions 2019 report are:

  1. Tanduay
  2. Bacardi (pictured main)
  3. Captain Morgan
  4. McDowell’s No.1 Rum
  5. Havana Club
  6. Barceló
  7. Božkov
  8. Ron Medellin
  9. Contessa
  10. Appleton Estate
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