Bacardi pledges to lead rum’s premiumisation

06 May, 2016

Bacardi has pledged to lead the premiumisation of rum, the company conceding it has failed in the past to emulate the achievements of other category leaders.

Speaking exclusively to DI, Fabio Di Giammarco, VP of Bacardi, said: “In all major categories the premium and super premium segments have developed tremendously but it isn’t true for rum. The global leader in all those categories had something to do with it but the global leader for rum hasn’t done much to premiumise its category – and I’m looking at ourselves in the past.”

Bacardi is prepared for its volume sales to continue to shrink as part of its new value strategy. From 2012 to 2015 the brand’s sales fell from 19.8m 9-litre cases to 17.4m 9 –litre cases, with a 4% volume drop last year.

“I have an ambition for way larger sales to come from premium variants in the future,” said Di Giammarco. “That will mean less volume at the expense of better value.”

Di Giammarco added that white rum – which makes up the bulk of Bacardi’s sales - can still premiumise, citing the example of vodka, tequila and gin but that it has to be “presented in the right way to consumers”.

The Bacardi VP, underlined, however, that “dark rum is critical” to premiumising rum. “We have done a very poor job communicating the intrinsic characteristics of rum,” he said. “There is craftsmanship, there are our Maestros, the ageing – these are the reasons people have dived into scotch and bourbon. We will put more emphasis on our premium rums than before.”


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