The relaxing of the importing of Cuban products like Cigars and Rum
might lead to the strengthening of the rum category's sales here in the states. The effect won't be felt as much is the rest of the world as here in the States, but it is definitely peaking peoples interest to see what will happen.
"The US congress finally lifting the decades long Cuban import ban could provide the spark for the long overdue detonation of the category. While top line volume growth might continue facing headwinds battering low quality variants in emerging markets such as India, the category’s versatility and new found premium aspirations will inform its short term performance. Embracing the unique heritage of English, Spanish and French expressions, carefully dipping a toe into the flavored bandwagon and cruising on the enviable momentum enjoyed by dark spirits, rum will be one of the protagonists."
The other Category showing some progress is the Brazilian cane spirit Cachaca. There have been a lot of effort in the area of premiumization of this category as well. This is a different type of cane spirit expression that warrants more exploration.
These two predictions I feel are valid and worth watching as we progress into 2015.