US: Captain Morgan White Rum to take on Bacardi

06 February, 2014
Captain Morgan white rum

Diageo has launched Captain Morgan White Rum in the US in direct opposition to Bacardi Superior.

Priced at $15.99 for a 75cl bottle, Captain Morgan White Rum will meet Bacardi head-on in what IWSR refers to as the standard rum segment ($10-20).

Globally, white rum has not seen growth for five years and is expected to remain at around 400m 9-litre cases from 2012-2017, growing just 1.4%, according to Euromonitor International.

Though the US is a growing rum market (+6% from 2007-2012, IWSR), this growth is concentrated in the spiced and aged rum segments, and particularly in premium rum ($20+).

Diageo, which says its new rum is produced in the American Virgin Islands and is “five-times distilled, clean, slightly sweet and creamy”, announced in 2013 the brand had reached 10m 9-litre cases.  

The rum is now the number three spirits brand in the US, a market which is growing for Captain Morgan in double digits.

The brand, which has only ever come in dark and spiced variants, will now be more active in the cocktail sector, particularly in what Diageo describes as “Caribbean-inspired cocktail recipes”.

Tom Herbst, vice president of marketing of rums for Diageo North America described Captain Morgan as a “superior quality liquid that possesses a much smoother taste",  but did not say to which rum brand he was making the comparison. 

He added: "We aim to stake our claim in this category in an explosive way.”

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