Rum: The new vodka?
If fancy bottles and smart marketing helped make vodka the best-selling spirit in the world, perhaps the same can be done for rum.
That is, at least, what Lascelles deMercado of Jamaica is hoping. Andrew Denoes, seen here, is doing his best to show off the line of Edwin Charley premium rums and increase its sales globally by at least 15 percent per year. Denoes is general manager of the subsidiary Lascelles Wines & Spirits.
The Edwin Charley Proprietor's premium rum collection comes in hand-blown, sculpted Venetian glass bottles for an average retail price of $100.
This is a shift in targets since for years Lascelles' Appleton Rum has been its flagship product. The new plan is to diversify to satisfy more niches.
"Looking at the global alcohol market, we have noted with great interest the increase in sales of spirits while beer sales are on the decline. What is taking up the slack is premium spirits and wines," Denoes said in an interview with Caribbean Business Report. "A lot of alcohol consumption is aspirational. You can treat yourself to a $40 bottle of wine or Scotch; you can't buy a $40 bottle of beer. This shift in demand is favourable to us and Lascelles is now focusing on premium spirits."
Global rum consumption is about 110 million cases a year, Caribbean Business Report said, with North America accounting for 27 million cases -- 19 million in the U.S., 5 million in Mexico, and 3 million in Canada.
"We recognize that if we are to build the Jamaica rum sub category we cannot be one-dimensional," Denoes said. "By that I mean we need to have more than one dominant product. You need a handful of brands to create a strong category. Appleton ... has become the No. 1 imported rum in some key markets around the world (such as in Mexico and in Canada), but the feedback we are getting is that there is a demand for another brand so we have chosen Edwin Charley as a more contemporary rum."
Lascelles, founded in 1825, has the largest stock of aged Jamaican rum in the world. It sells nearly 2 million cases a year worldwide.
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Posted by William M. Dowd at 4:29 PM