Friday, October 24, 2014

The Growth of Rum Becoming Polarized

Orijenes 30 Year
     “There’s a move away from a low-cost image,” Frank Quinones, now managing director of Botran Aged Rums, told The Spirits Business earlier this year. “Three or four years ago, rum was rum. Now people are more knowledgeable about rum. They read about it, they want to improve their rum experience.”
     Despite spotting an opportunity at the aspirational end of the category, producers are still grasping tightly onto the volumes proffered by rum’s spiced cousin. This year Pernod Ricard made a significant move for the space still very much available in the burgeoning spiced rum arena with "Malibu Island Spiced", while Diageo has extended its Captain Morgan range with the punchier Black Spiced and limited edition Sherry Oak Finish Spiced, in an attempt to diversify the category.

     Here is the thing, yes there is a move not only by rum producers to move into the "premium spirit" category, but the roots remain firmly planted in the flavored and spiced bulk rums.   So many of the brands that are working on premium rums are also pounding out volumes of cheap spiced and flavored rums as well. 

     I think that this contradiction is going to lead to the slowing of the premiumization of the category and do more to emphasize the cheap image that rum already has.   There is a market and a large group of people being lost to whiskey, because they are not being made aware of the fine quality and fine taste that rums have to offer because too many brands are "quick and easy fakes" of what real aged premium rums should be.